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Blockchain Considered As A Tool To Facilitate Post-Brexit Trade

The 21st century would be the “century of complexity” (Hawking, 2000)

Governments across the world have been exploring use cases for blockchain as they understand how flexible it can be.

Now, some in the British government have been allegedly mulling over if cutting-edge technology like blockchain could be deployed post-Brexit to help facilitate trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

When asked about solutions relating to the border problem at the Conservative Party conference, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, remarked how “the most obvious technology is blockchain.”

Blockchain In A Post-Brexit World?

According to the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones, Her Majesty’s Treasury said they were looking into technological solutions that supported “our commitment to no physical infrastructure at the land border.”

Cellan-Jones also wrote how he has been contacted by people relaying stories of government departments, like the Land Registry and Revenue and Customs branches, who have started to embrace blockchain.

So far, mention of blockchain has been very rare in Brexit negotiations, but some think the technology could play a big role down the road.

Some think the ability to use it for tracking and identifying goods could make it easier for customs officials in Britain and the European Union to make sure a trade agreement is being properly followed.

However, others speculate the actual process of creating a blockchain-based customs or trade system would be too long and expensive, assuming the technology actually was able to make it into the Brexit negotiation conversation.

A Viable Supply Chain Solution

Even if blockchain is ignored by those at the Brexit negotiating table, it has certainly caught the attention of the global supply chain industry.

CryptoGlobe reported on collaboration between shipping giant Maersk and IBM on a blockchain-based shipping solution. So far, collaboration features more than 90 participants, and the platform has tracked more than 154 million different shipping events.

In May, FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith noted at the Consensus 2018 conference how blockchain technology could potentially “revolutionize” the logistics industry.


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