Blockchain, Brexit, and Ireland: What will happen?

Blockchain, Brexit, and Ireland: What will happen?

There are many individuals throughout the world that understand that cryptocurrency can be an absolute game changer in the way that many companies and sectors operate. One of the most obvious examples of a tension regarding traditional finance is Brexit, where the UK is embroiled in a battle with the European Union (EU) about how to proceed, and how the British pound will be affected.

The economic uncertainty has led many to believe that cryptocurrency might be able to play a role, since traditional currencies might not be able to stabilize through the crisis. The fear is that the UK and the EU don’t end up with a trade agreement by the end of the month.

One of the sticking points involved with Brexit is whether the “backstop” will be intact. For those who are unaware, the “backstop” refers to the ability for freedom of passage of people, trade, and services, between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ireland is absolutely insisting on this, which makes sense, considering how dependent Ireland is on the UK for various economic reasons. Whether or not Brexit happens—Ireland is keen on the backstop remaining.

Many believed that Brexit would be a relatively seamless transition at the end of 2017, but 2018 has proved that Theresa May and the Conservative government have simply not been able to gather the votes to finally seal the deal.

Regardless of the Brexit crisis, one thing is clear: blockchain is doing well in Ireland. The country seems more open than other European countries to the potential of blockchain, as it has actually committed €500 million to a Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) so businesses and research organizations can explore the applications of blockchain.

There are many high-profile blockchain startups that have also established offices in Ireland, especially thanks to the uncertainty that Brexit offers, and the opportunity for cryptocurrency to thrive as a result. Coinbase, one of the most well-known companies in the cryptocurrency space, opened an office in Dublin in 2018, and the Joseph Lubin-led blockchain startup Consensys has also established a presence, as well.

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.