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Irish University Wants Government to Push Blockchain Into Mainstream

National University of Ireland (NUI) authors of a study on the adoption of blockchain have approached the government to promote a more widespread use of the technology in the country, reports The Irish Times.

The new study involving 20 selected Irish companies, conducted in association with the Blockchain Association of Ireland examined the factors that influenced them in their decisions to adopt blockchain. On its website,  the association described its aims as, “facilitating Irish business leaders, educators, policy-makers and citizens in learning how blockchain technology can be applied to make Ireland the World’s most blockchain literate nation.”

The study is expected to receive much interest as it’s the first of its kind in the country that has examined how blockchain could be implemented and hopes to increase blockchain awareness and adoption more broadly across the nation.

Research leader at NUI Galway, Dr Trevor Clohessy, sees the need for a national initiative to promote the new technology, particularly in the light of, as yet undecided border rules, between Ireland and the north following Brexit

“…Beyond business, other beneficial uses of this technology would be in voting machines and ballot boxes to address electoral fraud and potentially looking at a blockchain enabled technology-controlled border identification system that could provide a possible solution to the current North/South Brexit border challenges.”

One of the findings of the study shows that only 40 percent of companies in Ireland have embraced blockchain technology, which the researchers felt was relatively low, despite Ireland’s 13th position on Bloomberg’s 2018 Innovation Index, with high productivity scores and advanced IT infrastructure.

In recent years, Ireland has promoted itself as a hub for fintech and blockchain business. A recent report by Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) released figures which indicated that 30% of global of financial executives had plans to commit to blockchain technology within the next 18 months.

The study is proposing that the Irish government promote the new technology to extend this level of interest within the country, overcoming executives uncertainties about embracing blockchain, such as lack of business cases and in-house expertise. It was noted in the report that association with ICO’s and digital currency was perceived negatively by executives.

In terms of awareness of the technology, five out of 20 company executives interviewed had a basic level of blockchain awareness, while six had a medium level and only nine were able to demonstrate a high level of knowledge.
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