Natalie Elphicke MP OBE and other UK politicians recently took to the Metaverse to address a forum of 51 nations about the United Kingdom’s national priorities regarding blockchain and Web3 technologies. The occasion was the British Blockchain Association‘s third annual summit.
Setting the Stage for Innovation and Change
In her keynote speech in the Metaverse, Elphicke called on policymakers to “create and support opportunities for the new, for innovation, and for change.” This call to action comes shortly after the initiation of the UK Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Blockchain Technologies earlier this month. Elphicke chairs the APPG, which seeks to “explore the potential of blockchain and web3 technology for UK businesses, the public sector and the wider UK economy.” The group plans to engage with global firms, industry experts, and academics.
The Transformative Potential and Risks of Web3
Elphicke emphasized the paradigm-shifting nature of web3, stating, “Web3 represents a paradigm shift that reimagines the very fabric of the internet.” She also noted that “the physical assets are getting tokenized, and this trend will only grow from here.” While discussing the potential of blockchain, she said, “The UK has the potential to become a Blockchain-enabled ‘Smart Country’ for Digital Government, Citizens, and Public Services. Blockchain-based systems can reduce costs and increase transparency in government and public sector processes.”
At the same time, she issued a caution about potential risks, particularly regarding regulation. “Web3 is global, so if we make and apply laws that stifle innovation and put unnecessary restrictions in place, businesses will go elsewhere,” warned Elphicke.
Turning to the employment sector, Elphicke revealed some concerning statistics. “Britain is lagging competitors in securing blockchain related jobs…In the first quarter of 2023, out of a total of around 90,000 jobs globally, the UK ranked at number 12, securing only 2,000 of these,” she said. Elphicke also says the “first UK national priority is Web3 workforce planning.”
As the UK outlines its approach to Web3 and blockchain technologies, it’s worth noting that it’s not alone on this front. Other nations are also actively preparing for the burgeoning Web3 era. For example, China has been developing its blockchain initiatives, and Hong Kong recently rolled out its comprehensive Web3 strategy. With the rapidly evolving landscape of Web3 technologies, countries worldwide need to prepare their own frameworks, policies, and initiatives to remain competitive and foster innovation in this pivotal domain.
As Natalie Elphicke, MP OBE and her colleagues emphasized, the country aims to be at the forefront of this digital revolution, albeit with carefully considered regulations. The race is on, and the stakes are high for nations striving to define their position in the new web3 paradigm.