New Steps of Adoption: Dutch National Blockchain Research Agenda
The Dutch government’s foray into blockchain enterprise could represent a third prong to mainstream adoption following banks and major corporations.
On May 8, 2018 it was reported that the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy had created a unit tasked with researching the further development of blockchain across technology.
This could represent a major step forward for the adoption and application of blockchain technology as governments are not only taking the new technology seriously with their regulatory work on the cryptocurrency side of things, but now they are actively looking into the benefits of the technology.
Blockchain technology is now on the cusp of a new wave of adoption that is running concurrently, but separately from cryptocurrencies.
The banks are looking as to how blockchain can aid their advancement, racing to be the first-to-market in blockchain and cryptocurrency. Major corporations ar also following suit with their own blockchain products as their own race rages with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle all trying to outdo one another.
The Dutch blockchain research agenda
The Dutch government's move into blockchain and viewing its potential was delivered by Rob van Gijzel, ambassador of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, who presented the national research agenda which was commissioned by the Dutch ministry.
The research agenda will look at three key areas in order to address whether blockchain can be adapted nationwide for the benefit of the country with its potential.
Firstly, they are looking to determine if the trust-less nature of blockchain can be trusted. They want to know if blockchain technology can truly replace legal and social institutions which require trust in individuals and organizations.
Secondly, the government is looking for sustainability. They will be analyzing energy consumption costs, scalability, and resilience against power concentration or hostile takeovers.
Finally, it needs to be determined how the blockchain will be managed and governed.
Because blockchain technology has potentially far reaching implications in its application, governments could use it to streamline and cut costs in varying aspects of society's needs.
However, like all sectors currently delving into blockchain’s potential, there needs to be a level of experimentation to see if it is indeed suitable and successful enough to do what it says it can.
It follows that if governments can find a path towards using blockchain successfully, they could well be a large sector that could speed up adoption of the revolutionary technology.
Following banks and businesses
While there are less corporate pressures and capitalist competition at the government level, there is still an obligation and a focus to conduct government business efficiently as part of their mandate towards their citizens. That is why it is understandable that the Dutch government, among others, are looking into new competitive technologies as blockchain.
However, their drive to expand the possibilities of the technology could be considered the latest push in adoption, making it the third prong, followi