As Industry Leaders Back Blockchain Hubs – Should Governments Follow Suit?


By Nikola Stojanow and Marion Vogel of æternity

Blockchain technology has undoubtedly peaked the interest of government administrations across the globe, with a number of government officials publicly highlighting the benefits of blockchain technology as a mechanism to deliver new levels of innovation, efficiency, and transparency to myriad projects. We’ve seen governments in Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Malta, Barbados, and Singapore actively pursue blockchain technology, exploring how to implement a regulatory framework for both compliant projects and protected users.

Setting a unique precedent, Liechtenstein in particular has taken a lead in creating a supportive environment for blockchain projects to flourish. As the first blockchain company to establish in Liechtenstein, æternity has witnessed the country’s blockchain revolution take hold. The Government is championing the power of blockchain technology to the world, broadening its reach and promoting its potential.

The Head of Liechtenstein’s Government gave a speech at the opening of æternity’s House of Blockchain in Vaduz, which provides a unique co-working space for projects to develop decentralised applications and meet other industry experts. It is so important to foster the sustainable growth of blockchain-focused businesses aiming to scale a successful project without being hindered by administration or regulation.

While it is imperative for industry players to collaborate within this emerging space, there needs to be a concerted effort from governments worldwide to follow suit and bring blockchain to the next level. Significant resources should be set aside to explore the use of the technology as a mechanism to increase transparency, efficiency, and cross-sectoral innovation. It will, of course, take time until we see widespread, mainstream adoption of blockchain but I am confident that through collaborative initiatives, we are laying solid foundations now.

This is actually a pivotal moment in the blockchain story, with more and more major companies becoming convinced of its limitless potential. Hopefully this groundswell of momentum continues in the months and years ahead, and more enterprises dive deep into the technology, sourcing the projects and innovations that come out of incubator programs.

And while progress is being made, challenges remain. Aligning government and industry interests to facilitate mainstream adoption will take time. Communication and knowledge barriers currently exist between legislators and government officials with specialized tech professionals, making it difficult to create an ecosystem that is geared towards mainstream adoption.

It’s also still difficult for new projects to find the talented developers and sufficient funding they require to grow and scale. The reality is, there is a lack of skilled blockchain developers available and the ecosystem has been flooded with new projects. As a result, it has been increasingly difficult to get the visibility that some projects require to build a brand and entice high-caliber talent. Incubator programs offer an opportunity for new projects, as they provide access to a larger supporting community, but also the necessary network to support new projects with the specialized knowledge, expertise, and funding.

The challenges that we are currently witnessing in terms of gaining governmental support are only temporary. Patience will be required as governments develop a thorough understanding of blockchain technology before the landscape shifts dramatically. As more and more possibilities for blockchain application emerge, the decision by governments to not only incorporate the technology, but incubate it, will become an obvious one.