by Joseph Weinberg, CEO and co-founder of Paycase Financial  Corp and Chairman of Shyft Network International. Passionate about advancing mass-adoption of crypto and blockchain, Joseph also acts as an advisor to the OECD

Last year I sat down with the Bermudan Government and helped write the guide on how they should regulate their blockchain ecosystem.

We took the ideas and the discussions that the government had been working on for three years – and helped pass the regulatory and legislative frameworks into law with the government in just three months.

Here’s why this is important.

It was not the first. But, it was by far one of the fastest movements of ideation to regulation the industry has seen yet. It represents the growing trend of governments looking to use blockchain in new, and unprecedented ways. Ways that will undoubtedly affect you as an individual.

Standardization is closer than you think

There’s a lot of noise in the blockchain space. On a daily basis, we encounter countless proclamations of unbridled potential, and stories that drive market fear. But in contrast to the well-entrenched narrative against cryptocurrency, governments are actively educating and collaborating with the industry.

The idea? Embrace the underlying technology, balance interests, safeguard and standardize the framework around it.

Bermuda is one country that has rapidly moved forward. Mauritius is another that has looked to the Bermudan framework and said “OK, we’d like to implement that here too”. Mauritius appears to be looking to provide more privacy and data services to companies coming into their borders, and across jurisdictions in the country.

I’d say that by the end of 2019, you should expect to see 13 to 15 countries with legislation on blockchain.

Understanding this legislation, from a startup, established business or citizen perspective, is going to help you navigate the landscape when it comes to business, privacy and investing.

Other examples of the massive wave of change coming
We can hop around the globe and find other examples of how governments are using blockchain to fuel services. We’ll get to, what I believe, is one of the underlying misconceptions about governments and blockchain in the next paragraph.

Dubai has always been focused on the cutting edge. From it’s man-made islands, the the tallest building in the world – they’re constantly looking for ways to drive innovation. Blockchain technology is no exception.

The Dubai Department of Finance (DoF) recently partnered with the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) to launch a blockchain based payment system. It’s already in use by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority – two large departments that have never really had cross-departmental interaction.

Once in place – citizens of Dubai could see notable improvements in service.

And while it’s older news, in 2016 the government of Georgia became the first to use the bitcoin blockchain to validate property-related transactions. Again in an effort to improve citizen services.

It’s all about impact
Governments have been, well, governing for a long long time. What I think is critical to note here though, is that while the application layer of “here’s what xyz government is doing” is interesting, and there’s often a misconception of “oh, they’re just trying to stop innovation” – the underlying motive is what’s important.

From what I’ve seen – again working with the OECD, G7, G20 and others – is, the motivation, it’s all around impact.

Both good and bad impact.

There’s the recognition that our industry will have a massive impact on many areas of life. On tax policies, labour markets, privacy, monetary policies, education systems – and much much more.

Unless we’re careful, some of these impacts may be unfavorable.

If it seems like there’s uncertainty from a government perspective – you’d be right. There is. But this does not mean there’s not an interest or a desire to embrace the technology. That is here as well.

Governments are moving forward faster than you might realize to try and ensure we all build the right regulatory environments and leverage the technology in a way that can best suit everyone’s lives.

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