UK Legislators Cast Critical Eye on Bitcoin and Blockchain at Parliament Event
A committee of the UK House of Lords, the upper chamber of Parliament, struck a curious and at times critical tone when discussing blockchain technology and its impact on finance and government.
During an afternoon hearing of the The Economic Affairs Committee, members heard from academics and representatives of the blockchain industry, as well as Ben Broadbent, the deputy governor for monetary policy of the Bank of England. Lasting about three hours, the hearing demonstrated a mixture of genuine interest and skepticism on the part of committee members.
It was the first major committee discussion of the technology within Parliament, and follows a period of growing interest within the UK government to pursue possible applications.
In addition to Broadbent, witnesses who spoke included Digital Asset Holdings CEO Blythe Masters (who spoke via phone); 11:FS co-founder and director of blockchain Simon Taylor; Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research associate director Dr Catherine Mulligan; Gresham College professor of commerce Michael Mainelli; and PwC transformation and assurance director Lord Spens.
During his appearance, Broadbent discussed both the concept of a central bank issued digital currency – which he indicated is an evolving, years-long process – as well as the technology’s broader impact on financial markets.
This post was published at Coin Desk on July 19, 2016.