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Blockchain technologies could boost the UK economy by billions

(Image credit: Image Credit: Zapp2Photo / Shutterstock)

Blockchain, an emerging technology perhaps best known for underpinning the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has the potential to boost the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) by $72 billion over the next decade.

This is according to a new report from consultancy PwC, which states that pretty much every industry stands to gain from the proliferation of the technology. It also argues that 2025 may very well be the tipping point for blockchain, which will be adopted at scale across the globe.

Various industries will be able to use it - from healthcare, government and public services to manufacturing, finance, logistics and retail.

While some may use it to track and trace their products and services, others may use it to demonstrate the authenticity of their suppliers. In this area, the UK economy may see a $39 billion boost by 2030.

Payments and financial services - which includes digital currencies and cross-border and remittance payments - could add another $16 billion to that figure, while identity management could add an extra $10bn.

The application of blockchain to contracts and dispute resolution ($3.9bn), as well as customer engagement ($2.3bn), is also mentioned in the report.

Each block added to a blockchain contains data that needs to be validated by more than 50 percent of nodes (participants) in a given network. If the nodes are spread across various entities and individuals, the blockchain can be considered decentralized.

Each validation is done cryptographically, making writing data into blocks secure - and this is also why digital currencies are called “cryptocurrencies”. Rewriting old blocks is almost impossible, meaning data is protected from tampering.