Digital Nation

The Scottish Blockchain Act – Legislation for a World Leading Digital Nation

Thought leadership from Professor Bill Buchanan on the keystone foundations needed for a 21st century Digital Scotland.

The purpose of our Blockchain webinar series is to explore the role the technology will play in supporting our ambition of becoming a world leading digital nation.

As ever Professor Bill Buchanan exemplifies the ideas and thought leadership needed to realize this vision.

In this blog he describes how countries should legislate a Blockchain Act, emulating pioneers like Liechtenstein, providing the legal framework to truly achieve a wholly digital nation.

The transformation is quite simple but deeply profound in terms of the impact across our society.

Despite our claims of living in a digital society the reality is that so much of our economy is still paper-based, from mortgages to opening a bank account requiring the endless shuffling of paper and the centuries old practice of ‘wet’ signatures or what Bill describes as ‘fake digital’, the practice of visually emulating these via tools like Docusign.

Instead he defines that:

“We need to move into a world which properly replaces paper, and moves towards crypto-assets and digital signing with private keys.”

The Tokenization of Everything

The digitization of all documents and processes via the Blockchain would give rise to what Bill describes as ‘The Token Economy’:

“But some countries are now defining the required legal infrastructure around blockchain, and finding ways to integrate into their existing legal frameworks, and also provided increased trust in the new economy — the token economy.” 

and that

“The key requirement is for national regulation infrastructure and which builds on a total anonymous distributed ledger infrastructure, as well as mapping trusted identities into a regulation infrastructure.”

Demonstrating the potential Scotland has to not only adopt but also pioneer this massive trend is local startup Blockchain Technology Partners, who specializes in the ‘smart contracts’ that Bill defines as the linchpin to this new digital universe. They also envisage the complete digitization of all facets of our economy, describing “The Tokenization of Everything“.

Digital Currency – Pioneering “Programmable Money”

A keynote example of an offline asset being digitized this way is currency. Of course we already have Bitcoin, so the next major leap forward will be bank-issued digital currencies.

For Scotland this is a particularly dynamite topic, as the potential coincides with the likely move to independence, where one of the most forthright questions is always what currency would iScotland use, a topic explored in this previous blog.

Imagine the statement it would make about Scotland’s embrace of the future if this new country was founded upon the Blockchain and all of it’s institutions digitally encoded this way, issuing a new, digital currency from day one!

This scenario of a ‘CBDC’ (Central Bank Digital Currency) is a very hot topic in the Blockchain world right now, where a key standard that could make it possible is ‘DAML’, a programming language for creating Blockchain smart contracts that run across multiple infrastructure options. DigitalAsset is the world’s expert on this and explore the trend in more detail in this series of blogs.

Not only does this provide the technology to digitally enable currencies as they behave now, but to make possible a future of “Programmable Money”, where a variety of behaviours and actions can be coded into the flow of money not possible with physical currency.

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One Comment

  1. They are coming close to block chains full potential. Using a sustainability investment approach like was used to test and advance what became blockchain from 1996 to 2010 using a Canadian community resources. $1turned into $55 worth of R&D supporting over 50 projects testing various field of endeavour. Using students and unemployed and everything of no value to go create something of value.

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