The Paymaster General, Matt Hancock, has just delivered a speech at King’s Cross in London on blockchain technology. Although Hancock admitted “there’s still a very long way to go to bring Government up to date with the internet age”, he did feel able to talk about the Government’s ambitions to use blockchain “to manage the distribution of grants.” He talked about education and international aid explicitly, citing the Student Loans Company and DfID grants to aid bodies.
In all, the speech shows Government is still a very long way behind the technology curve. In typical Whitehall fashion, its first concern is how to count and distribute the beans more accurately, rather than realising that substantive policy change will be needed to keep up with the modern world.
In the short term, though, organisations that can play down to Whitehall’s tech standards will benefit from new pots of public money looking for a home.