The projection has been made as Scottish Enterprise launches the first review of its kind into the companies, investors and impact of blockchain that could unlock “new and scalable innovation opportunities” for the digital economy north of the Border. Blockchain works by allowing digital information to be recorded and distributed across a network of computers then stored in blocks that hold sets of data and linked together through cryptography.
There are currently 60 “blockchain centric” companies, 78 Investors, 86 leaders and 33 hubs with a blockchain focus in Scotland with most companies located in Edinburgh, the report notes. Economic opportunities are highlighted across eight sectors - agriculture, manufacturing, health, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), space, energy, finance and education.
Suzanne Sosna, Scottish Enterprise director of economic opportunities, said: “This is the first review of its kind. The technology is most associated with the financial sector, but we wanted to look beyond that across industries where blockchain technology might be lesser known, but no less innovative, such as in education where it’s used to make qualifications secure. Scottish Enterprise will continue to support the development of blockchain technology to help business growth and innovation in Scotland.”
Companies profiled in the report include Glasgow-based Gigged.AI, which has been supported by Scottish Enterprise and uses artificial intelligence blockchain technology for businesses to create secure and transparent records of candidate qualifications, experience and work history.
The report was produced by Deep Knowledge Analytics presenting an overview of the entire blockchain industry ecosystem. Key challenges include regulation and public awareness of the technology most closely associated with finance. However, the report also highlights that the tech has applications for industries such as entertainment and manufacturing with solutions for digital rights management and contracts.
Dominic Jennings, head of strategic partnerships for Deep Knowledge Analytics and Deep Knowledge Group, said: “The use of blockchain technology can encourage growth across a diverse range of sectors through the development of innovative and secure solutions with potential to significantly boost Scotland's economic growth.”