You know it’s serious when governments get involved.
Ever since the incredible run cryptocurrencies had at the end of last year, 2017, the general feeling toward blockchain technology hasn’t been a question of “if”—but “when.”
It seems as though 2018 has been the year of preparation. Major companies like Amazon and Facebook have both started solidifying their involvement in the space. Amazon, for example, has made it possible to launch blockchain solutions on AWS. Meanwhile, Facebook quietly formed a team within the company to begin exploring blockchain use cases for the behemoth social platform.
Whenever a major company moves into a new space, there’s a reason.
But when governments start following suit, then it’s really time to pay attention.
Here are 5 governments backing blockchain projects:
1. United States
While the United States has certainly been a bit “behind the curve” when it comes to blockchain adoption, the U.S. Treasury Department is “currently running a pilot program to determine whether Blockchain technology can be utilized for supply chain management,” according to Cointelegraph.
The article goes on to explain that the GSA’s Emerging Citizen Technology office launched the US Federal Blockchain program, allowing federal agencies and US businesses to further explore blockchain technology and its potential use cases within the US government.
Spain is doing all kinds of interesting things within the blockchain space.
According to Cointelegraph, “Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), the second largest bank in Spain by assets and capitalization, became the first global bank to use blockchain technology throughout the entire process of issuing a 75 million euro ($87 million) loan.” The article goes on to state, “On May 30, the Spanish Congress unanimously supported draft legislation that would favorably regulate blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the country.”
In addition, the Government of Spain has backed startup ventures such as Navibration, a Spain-based technology company aiming to create a social network of audio-guided tours. This would mean that tourists, writers, translators, speakers, travelers, reviewers, etc., could all create content on the platform, allowing users to “purchase tours” through a patented navigation system.
China’s response to the blockchain boom has been very hot and cold.
The country’s stance on cryptocurrencies and ICOs has been firm. But according to Cointelegraph, “Another Chinese city is launching a fund worth over $1 billion in order to support the development of blockchain-focused enterprises. The district government of the Jiangbei new area in Nanjing city announced the plan to launch the 10 billion yuan (around $1.4 billion) blockchain fund… The effort follows reports that the municipal governments of the Chinese cities of Hangzhou and Shenzhen have both launched blockchain-dedicated funds of $1.6 billion and $80 million, respectively.”
It’s clear that China understands the immense value blockchain technology could bring businesses and organizations—and they are investing in determining the most effective ways of leveraging these solutions.
Japan has been a major advocate for the use cases and benefits of cryptocurrencies.
According to Coincentral, “The country experienced enormous growth in their blockchain sector after making BTC legal tender last year. In an effort to lure even more investment capital to the market, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Accelerator Program started hosting the “Block Chain Business Camp Tokyo. The program is scheduled to last two months and is aimed at stimulating private innovation in the sector. The goal is to promote blockchain projects that have the potential to improve Tokyo residents’ quality of life. As well as those that will further the economic standing of the city in the blockchain sector.”
Australia has long been in support of blockchain technology.
According to Cryptovest, “Australia’s federal government has decided to invest A$2.2 million ($1.6 million) in a blockchain initiative as a way to make its key sugar production more competitive, local media reported on Tuesday. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition backed Sustainable Sugar Project, which targets Queensland, the major sugar export region of Australia.”
In addition, according to Smartcompany, here are 10 blockchain companies in Australia that have raised millions of dollars in funding for their initiatives. And according to Coincentral, here are some other signs Australia is well on its way to becoming an influential force in the blockchain space.