Can Scotland become a blockchain powerhouse?

Can Scotland become a blockchain powerhouse?

The second annual ScotChain summit, with UK and international participants and attendees examining the rapidly changing area of blockchain technology, comes to RBS Gogarburn in October. 

ScotChain17, a year on from ScotChain2016, will see high level discussions around how blockchain technology is “rapidly changing” in 2017 and has now moved beyond financial services into many other sectors of industry. 

A global panel of experts in the field will focus on areas including data integrity and privacy, scalability, consensus, collaboration and consortia and related legal, ethical and moral thinking when it comes to blockchain. 

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, will make the opening address to ScotChain17 and is expected to discuss Scotland’s potential to become a powerhouse in blockchain technology. 

Scotland has made great strides around blockchain during 2017 and in June the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics opened the doors to its Blockchain Technology Laboratory, one of the world’s first centres of its kind. 

MBN CEO, Michael Young, said: “We are only now starting to understand this technology’s real, practical and full potential but there is so much more to discover and explore, including the impact blockchain is having and will increasingly impact on Scotland’s business scene and our overall society.”

“This year’s event switches up to focus on real, tangible applications together with the challenges and issues facing the technology and its adoption, the battle for blockchain talent and we’re be running hackathons, technical demonstrations and looking at proofs of concept on the day.”

MBN organises Scotland’s largest blockchain meetup, Scottish Blockchain Meetup, which has now been running for several years and its success led to the inaugural ScotChain event last December.  ScotChain17 is supported by Deloitte, Spiritus Partner and RBS. 

Kent Mackenzie, Director at Deloitte, said: “In Scotland, we have a real opportunity to lead the field - we are close to the ‘use-cases’ through a very strong FS community, we have some leading developers locally exploring this space and, of course, we have some great academic minds in Edinburgh and beyond who are taking the thinking to new levels.  I am incredibly excited and optimistic about the role Scotland can play in being leaders in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.”

Steve Williams, Senior Partner for Deloitte in Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “The rise of blockchain and distributed ledger technology has the potential to fundamentally change many aspects of financial services, from audit and assurance activities to identity management. 

"At Deloitte, it is important we keep pace and understand how these changes impact our clients. Through our established digital and fintech teams, we take time to work through the opportunities blockchain creates and explore how our clients can benefit, as well as helping them in overcoming some of the inevitable practical and cultural challenges of adopting this emerging technology.”