London Needs to Embrace Blockchain Post-Brexit to Stay Relevant Says Leading MEP

The UK’s imminent exit from the European Union (EU) has left some politicians with some uncertainty about London’s future as the leading financial center.

Kay Swinburne, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Wales, made her views known as she spoke to the Business Insider on February 13. She believes that UK needs to grasps the blockchain technology after the exit of the EU to enable the City of London to stay relevant.

She believes the City of London can remain relevant by becoming advocates of new technologies like the blockchain and not just mending existing systems to make them work post-Brexit, but actually “leapfrogging.”

The Relevance of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain otherwise called the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) is the name of the underlying technology of bitcoin, a digital currency that facilitates peer-to-peer payments without the involvement of a third party. DLT makes it easier for organizations and individuals to transfer money around the world by bypassing conventional mediators like banks and governments.

DLT is additionally very customizable as it has unlimited applications for different businesses and processes. For instance, it can be used in trading and clearing of monetary instruments, to keep and share records and to facilitate payments or enhance transaction monitoring.

Banks and other financial institutions have recently taken advantage of this technology due to its inbuilt security and trust checks which can cut out intermediaries in processes like settlement and clearing, in turn, reduces the cost associated with transactions.

Santander is the first UK bank to utilize the blockchain technology in its transaction. Recently, Santander collaborated with American Express partnering together with financial technology firm Ripple to accelerate cross-border payments between the US and the UK by utilizing blockchain technology. Santander estimated in 2015 that the associated savings with using blockchain technology could be worth up to $20 billion.

Kay Swinburne added that London’s markets could be “more efficient” and therefore more competitive if given the impetus to search for ways to leverage blockchain technology to their advantage.” She likened the impact of blockchain technology to that of the ‘Big Bang‘ moment which occurred in the 1980’s when Britain experienced rapid economic growth, especially in London…

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