To facilitate the development and implementation of the Blockchain technology in Ireland, a non-profit advocacy group called the Blockchain Association of Ireland (BAI) will launch on Dec. 14. Reuben Godfrey, the co-director of the BAI, stated that the organization will bridge the gap between startups and large-scale institutions to establish Ireland as a global FinTech hub.

Dealing with regulations and frameworks

One of the major aspects of Blockchain implementation which most startups and corporations struggle to deal with is regulatory conflicts. Because the Blockchain technology is a decentralized protocol in nature, existing financial frameworks and money transmission regulations come in conflict with the implementation stage of the technology.

Godfrey stated in an interview with local publication The Irish Times that the association will first focus on helping startups and institutions to become fully compliant with various regulations by cooperating with local lawmakers, regulators and educators.

It also aims to educate the government, central bank and the authorities about the benefits and advantages of utilizing the Blockchain in a wide range of industries including healthcare, FinTech, finance and real estate.

While doing so, Godfrey announced that the association will be hosting Blockchain conferences and discussions, with a vision of bringing the Irish Blockchain community together. The association hopes to see startups, large institutions, innovators and developers come together and discuss the potential applications of the technology.

Godfrey told The Irish Times:

“The association primarily bridges the gap between informal and formal networks to open the public dialogue and advance Ireland as an innovative hub for technology and the multiple societal and commercial applications of Blockchain. We are non-profit and member-led and will facilitate workgroups, seminars, and trainings with the aim of producing practicable white papers in all the key verticals [specific markets]. We aim to bring the Irish Blockchain community together at our annual summit, Deepgreen 2017, in April of next year.”

Importance of Bitcoin and other successful digital currencies

To date, Bitcoin is seen as the only successful Blockchain project worldwide as it has proved its unprecedented security measures and developed resilience to external attacks and bugs. It also has a market cap larger than most reserve currencies, as covered by Cointelegraph this week.

Thus, Godfrey noted that Bitcoin will always remain a core part of the conversations, discussions and conferences the association engages in. However, he emphasized that he hopes to meet the demands of corporations and industry leaders that are interested in the term “Distributed Ledger Technology.”

“Bitcoin should always be part of the conversation but the industry has gone through something of a gentrification period in the past year and many corporations now prefer the term ‘DLT’ – Distributed Ledger Technology – to describe it,” said Godfrey.

The most urgent and timely issue the association must address is the regulatory conflicts surrounding the implementation of the Blockchain technology. Godfrey and the rest of the Blockchain association hope to establish a nationwide framework for the technology in the short-term.