In a recent work by Anja Manuel and Leo Carter published in Business Insider UK, the couple suggested that the United States should develop a global strategy to address the development of blockchain. The reasons cited varied, but the general theme was to protect national security and ensure a competitive position with other world powers.
by Anja Manuel and Leo Carter,
"One of the Defense Department's main concerns about new defense systems is that components are fabricated throughout the world, then it is possible that suppliers close to a foreign government can install undetectable backdoors to spy on.
Faulty microchips or spyware skulking are real risks in today's opaque global supply chains.The accurate and detailed blockchain ledger could reduce these risks by tracking down what each subcontractor provides and ensuring that each component is traceable. "
The couple brings out a big point that goes far beyond the development of the blockchain. After decades of outsourcing by US companies, the US defense apparatus relies on factories in apparently hostile nations. Blockchain could certainly help identify possible bottlenecks in a supply chain, but it can not do much to help US contractors find internal sources when they do not exist.
The development of global Blockchain is part of a broader trend
Innovation is a big part of what maintains a competitive economy. Offending the production of vital technology will not maintain any kind of long-term economic competitiveness. Now places like Taiwan, South Korea and even China are leading the world in innovation and in the adoption of blockchains, while the United States seeks ways to regulate a rapidly evolving space.
The recent announcement of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is a good example of what the United States is reporting in a competitive space that thrives on its ability to adapt quickly. ICE would like to introduce the first futures contract that would be placed in actual bitcoins, but it will probably take at least a year to get regulatory approval. Their plan to implement a system to bridge the crypto-fiat gap is fraught with similar difficulties.
Anja Manuel and Leo Carter's piece mentions some jurisdictions in which innovation is placed in a more prominent position,
"Lichtenstein and Malta are among the first to create legal frameworks for blockchain
A July, Malta approved three laws establishing internal governance requirements and certification procedures to better protect both consumers and businesses.
While nobody is worried about Malta and Lichtenstein, it would be useless if China, Russia or other antagonistic governments the United States set the standards in this new and critical technology. "
The level of arrogance that some in the United States have for other nations is palpable in a phrase like, " While nobody is worried about Malta and the Lichtenstein … "
Read: Malta, The Blockchain Island.
This should be an alarm bell for innovators in the United States, Lichtenstein and Malta are advancing in the race to provide a legal framework for cryptographic transactions, and could easily become global leaders in space. This point is not lost on some in the United Kingdom. Congressman Eddie Hughes recently called for the establishment of a national blockchain official and the UK Law Commission is studying how smart contracts could be used commercially in the UK legal system.
The development of Asian Blockchain is exploding
Even though China has practically banned the trade in criptos, their nation has more blockchain companies than any other country on earth. Some of these will not clearly be world leaders, but with billions of dollars that the Chinese government is opening the development of blockchain, there will probably be some winners in the mix.
Hong Kong is taking blockchain development seriously and has announced that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority will work with some of the world's biggest banks to lead a new blockchain platform that will simplify commercial finance. The platform on which the system will work was built by the Chinese company Ping An, and is already used in mainland China.
Read: Hong Kong HKMA collaborates with Ping An to create the commercial financing platform Blockchain
to state that the development of blockchain in the United States is delayed would be a kind of euphemism. Even Australia, which is not a country that is known for being at the forefront of technological innovation, has already adopted a blockchain-based system for the liquidation of exchange trades. Commonwealth Bank of Australia has just used the blockchain to track a shipment of almonds from Victoria to Germany, and has reported that the system has worked well.
The United States has already lagged behind the blockchain development curve. It is not known if this will damage the United States in the long term. If the United States continues to seek to take advantage of the relocation of production to cheaper economic zones, the risk that they will become a customer state in the coming decades is high.