There are several countries that are starting to work with blockchain technology. Some of them are using it in the financial sector while others are trying to improve their bureaucratic systems. Companies are also working with distributed ledger technology (DLT) trying to offer better products and services to users.
In a recent blog post, CryptoDigest shows that there are eight countries working with blockchain technologies trying to improve different industries.
The first country that they mention is Singapore. The country’s central bank could be the first one to offer a national digital currency based on blockchain technology. At the moment, there is a project that is called UBIN which is led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and that it would use DLT for the clearing and settlement of payments.
The second country that is mentioned in the article is South Korea. Although the country has banned Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the country and imposed some regulations on crypto exchanges, the Bank of Korea is trying to implement a blockchain solution to replicate Interbank payments and settlement.
There is a company called Blocko that is supporting a blockchain initiative called Aergo. The intention is to provide a decentralized solution based on the same technology as Coinstack. The software Coinstack is currently used by the Bank of Korea to test-pilot a system that is able to process micropayments in a more efficient way.
England is the third country that CryptoDigest included in the list. The Bank of England is one of the banks that is analysing the possibility of issuing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Back in 2018, the institution released a paper in which they evaluate a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of a CBDC.
The main intention behind the issuance of a CBDC is to improve the payment system and help fintech firms to process transactions using a blockchain-based network that is fast and easy to use.
Although CryptoDigest did not include Ukraine in their article, this country is also analysing the possibility of issuing a local digital currency. The main goal is to create a digital Hryvnia and allow individuals to use the digital asset to move funds in an easy way.
The UAE is also working in Dubai in order to create a blockchain-based city. The proposal is known as Smart Dubai and they want to help Dubai achieve the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. His goal is to make Dubai the first city fully powered by Blockchain in 2020.
The National Bank of Kuwait is working with the popular cryptocurrency-based company Ripple. With this partnership, the bank will be connected to several others all over the world, not only in the Middle East and Asia.
Ripple is currently offering different products and services for financial firms and banks to be able to move funds in an easy way between borders. The current systems powered by SWIFT are slow and expensive compared to the new technology created by Ripple. Using the digital asset XRP, it will be possible to reduce costs even further. At the moment, there are 200 banks already using RippleNet and more will be added in the future.
China, the second largest economy in the world after the United States is using blockchain technology as well. There are some banks in the country such as the Bank of China or the Chian Construction Bank that are analysing the possibility to implement blockchain solutions.
Even when the country has banned virtual currencies and Bitcoin, in 2017, China filed the largest amount of blockchain-related patents in the world. There are also several companies located in the country that are also working in the blockchain field.
Japan is also known as a very open country towards digital assets and virtual currencies. Although the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in the country has implemented different regulations to control the market and its participants, the country is very open to new technologies and cryptocurrencies.
The Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank (ECB) are currently working on a joint project called Stella in which they will be studying the possible use cases of distributed ledger technology for financial market infrastructures. Although they have already been doing some testings, they’ve mentioned that further analysis of the safety and efficiency of this technology is needed.
Canada is also trying to enter the blockchain market in a meaningful way. The Bank of Canada (BoC) is also trying to better understand how blockchain technology can be applied. In 2018, an official at the BoC questioned the effectiveness and security of using blockchain technology.
On the matter, James Chapman, senior research director at the BoC’s funds management and banking department, commented:
“We have to worry about the finality of the settlement. At this time, there is no cost-saving effect compared to the existing central bank system. Hacking and other operational risks are likely to occur.”
Finally, the Dutch government is exploring different blockchain solutions for different governmental areas. As we reported at UseTheBitcoin at the beginning of 2018, there are 30 different projects that were tested in different fields such as taxing, identity, logistics and many others.
The Dutch government is working with Blockchainpilots.nl to start different projects related to blockchain technology. In this project, there were more than 25 organizations working with DLT. Some of the most interesting applications related to it are digital identity, improved regulation for subsidies on electric vehicles or a system for tracking working and resting hours of employees.
Switzerland is another country active in the Fintech zone. The Swiss State-run postal service and the telecom services have presented their initiative to create a completely private Swiss blockchain. Moreover, Swiss’s SIX Exchange was the first exchange in Europe that had a cryptocurrency ETF approved – called HODL. The Swiss banking system are also exploring blockchain technologies in order to improve their services.
In this article, we tried to show some of the countries that are working with blockchain technology and digital assets. Although this does not mean that these countries will go full blockchain, there are some areas that can be enhanced with the implementation of distributed ledger technology.
What we can see is that blockchain is used to keep track of specific goods, to share important information between parties and also to power financial applications, among other things.