Digital Nation

Building a Digital Nation on the Blockchain – Scotland’s £4 Billion Opportunity

An action plan to build The Scottish National Blockchain Network, a communal public utility to underpin a 21st century Scottish digital nation.

As Digit reports a newly-published report from Scottish Enterprise highlights how blockchain technology could be worth over £4 billion to the Scottish economy by 2030.

It’s likely far greater as we consider the broader impact of leveraging the Blockchain to digitize many facets of the Scottish economy, from small business functions through government interactions and transactions wholesale.

Blockchain is a decentralized and distributed ledger technology that allows for secure and transparent transactions. It enables the recording and verification of transactions in a tamper-proof manner, eliminating the need for intermediaries and enhancing trust among participants.

Countries like the UKIndia and Australia have developed national Blockchain roadmaps, for exactly this purpose, and Scotland can emulate this process for the same benefits.

These serve as a catalyst for innovation, bringing together participants from across academia, government and business, as well as documenting an investment framework for advancing adoption of the technology.

Digital Government

The advent of Blockchain technology has brought about significant transformations across various sectors, and the government is no exception. Governments around the world are exploring the potential applications of Blockchain to enhance transparency, security, and efficiency in their operations.

  • Blockchain in Identity Management – One of the significant government applications for Blockchain is in identity management. By leveraging Blockchain technology, governments can create a secure and immutable digital identity for their citizens. This can streamline processes such as issuing passports, driver’s licenses, and other identification documents. Additionally, Blockchain-based identity management systems can help combat identity theft and fraud by providing a transparent and tamper-proof record of individuals’ identities.
  • Blockchain in Voting Systems – Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize voting systems by ensuring transparency, security, and integrity. By using Blockchain, governments can create a decentralized and tamper-proof voting system, eliminating the possibility of fraud or manipulation. Each vote can be recorded on the Blockchain, making it transparent and auditable by the public. This can enhance trust in the electoral process and increase voter turnout.
  • Blockchain in Supply Chain Management – Supply chain management is another area where Blockchain can bring significant benefits to the government. By implementing Blockchain-based supply chain solutions, governments can track and verify the movement of goods and services across the supply chain. This can help prevent counterfeiting, ensure product quality, and enhance traceability. Additionally, Blockchain can enable real-time monitoring of supply chain activities, improving efficiency and reducing costs.
  • Blockchain in Land Registry – Land registry is a critical function of the government, and Blockchain can play a vital role in ensuring the integrity and transparency of land records. By recording land transactions on the Blockchain, governments can create an immutable and tamper-proof record of ownership. This can help prevent land disputes, streamline the process of transferring property ownership, and reduce the risk of fraud.

Blockchain technology holds immense potential for transforming the way governments operate and deliver public services. From identity management to voting systems, supply chain management, and land registry, Blockchain can enhance transparency, security, and efficiency in various government functions.

As governments continue to explore and adopt Blockchain solutions, we can expect to see a more trusted and accountable governance system in the future.

The Scottish National Blockchain Network

The action that Scotland can take to move forward on this opportunity is to establish ‘The Scottish National Blockchain Network’.

We can look at this technology as a core component of Digital Nation Infrastructure, a common platform that serves the full spectrum of societal and business needs. This could be a Blockchain that could be deployed as a community-owned infrastructure and act as a public utility with many possible use case scenarios, such as enabling a new national currency and secure online voting.

An example of this is the Spanish Alastria project, a model achieved through a consortium of small and large organizations and some government agencies, who collaborate to define and implement a shared, common Blockchain infrastructure, built atop ‘Self Sovereign Identity’.

In this video presentation, with supporting slides, they explain how this non-profit organization and multi-organization member forum acts together to form a “National Blockchain Network“.

From 7:00m it is explained how the ecosystem this makes possible, with different market entities fulfilling roles such as User, Service Provider and Attester, a system for securely sharing identity credentials to underpin integrated digital services.

Conclusion – Action Plan

This cross-industry community approach is especially powerful when you consider the recommendations described in the report from the All Party Parliamentary group on Blockchain technologies:

  • “Build knowledge sharing consortium: Organisations like Scotim, Government Digital Services (GDS), Local Government Association (LGA) should encourage councils and have sustainable discussions that will keep local councils updated. This will build awareness and might spark innovative ideas too.
  • Stimulate public-private interaction: The private sector must interact more with the public sector to understand needs. Currently, the private sector – as evident from our survey – feels they know what solutions might be needed by the public sector but they are not completely aware of the diversity of needs of the local government and their citizens.
  • Pilots and Sandbox approaches are the way forward: The study demonstrates the usefulness of unlocking blockchain ecosystems and piloting what can be achieved via Sandbox approaches. This supports implementation,testing, and risk management.”


Editor of On a mission to build a world leading Scottish digital nation.

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