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UK parliament passes bill to digitalize gov documents with blockchain

UK parliament passes bill to digitalize gov documents with blockchain
UK parliament passes bill to digitalize gov documents with blockchain

The UK Parliament has reportedly introduced a new act under which official government documents will soon be maintained by the technology used in cryptocurrency.

On Wednesday, 12th October, the House of Lords introduced and approved the Electronic Trade Documents Bill, which will allow trade documents to be digitized and help cut down the government’s reliance on paper.

The move to replace paper with digital documents for the country’s £1.3 trillion ($1.4 trillion) trade industry gained momentum during the pandemic, which exposed the fragility of global supply chains.

Although using paper was being questioned over its cost, weight, and sustainability concerns, supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic have fast-tracked the Electronic Trade Documents Bill that the Law Commission has drafted.

The act is anticipated to help the UK become one of the first major economies to have a paperless official document policy.

Chris Holmes, a Member of Parliament and an advocate of cryptocurrency blockchain technology, stated that the new legislation has several major benefits.

Holmes explained that according to the DCSA (Digital Container Shipping Association) estimates, if 50% of the container shipping industry switches to electronic bills of freight and cargo, the total global savings would be worth around £3 billion ($3.4 billion).

Holmes added that the change would transform trade and pave the way that would enable the UK to be at the front of legislation facilitated by ground-breaking tech.

Transferring paper documents usually takes around 7-10 days, while doing the same electronically will take no more than 20 seconds, Holmes noted.

Holmes also raised concerns about how millions of pieces of paper in the current scenario require endless hours of bureaucracy, delays, inefficiencies, and huge environmental costs

Lord Holmes added that although it was possible to digitize these documents, it was not legally allowed until now. Given that trade documents relied on physical possession, they had to be on paper to be legal and for physical transference.

Those who do not wish to use the digitalized version can continue with paper documents, while those who want to will legally be allowed to use digital trade documents.

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