It’s funny how some in government don’t like the views of experts if it risks dismantling their plans to take the UK out of the EU, but are happy to indulge in their lack of expertise to propose technology solutions to avoid a hard border in Ireland.
It was only a matter of time until blockchain was mentioned by the government as a solution to the problem of avoiding a hard border between two jurisdictions that will no longer have free movement of goods and people.
Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was the guilty party. “I don’t claim to be an expert on it but the most obvious technology is blockchain,” Hammond said. That is okay then as he is not an expert.
I had to write this as it seems blockchain is the answer to everything these days, but so far is only really used as the ledger that underpins the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. There are lots pf pilots of the technology being done and I am certain blockchain will eventually become mainstream, but to hear a senior minister suggest it as a solution to the Irish border means we have reached a new level in the Gartner hype cycle.
Almost every meeting I have these days, with a technology executive or a supplier, ends up with a blockchain solution to something.
I hardly understand it myself and I write about enterprise technology. It is very complicated to understand how it works for non techies and even more difficult to find a place for it in business or government.
What is probably more disturbing is Hammond’s comments are clear evidence that the government has got no closer to finding a technological solution to the Irish border problem.
Hold on for an announcement next week that Facebook is the solution.