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UK to introduce legislation legalizing digital documents on the blockchain

The UK Parliament has inserted A new bill gives legal status to paperless documents used in international trade. The Electronic Commerce Documents Bill seeks to encourage the adoption of digital documents similar to electronic freight certificates and digital cargo insurance.

Most of these digital certificates are based on blockchain technology, with platforms like Contour and Komgo leading the way. Other platforms looking to use blockchain for trade finance include GSBN, CargoX, and TradeLens, a platform jointly developed by IBM and Maersk.

The proposed legislation aims to reduce administrative costs and bureaucracies associated with paperwork. The introduced regulation will also update the Bill of Exchange Act 1882 and the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992, which will offer a range of benefits to stakeholders in the field.

Once out of the gate, experts say digital transformation with commercial documents could save the UK nearly $1 billion in 10 years and cut processing times from two weeks to just 20 seconds. Furthermore, the Digital Container Shipping Association predicts that the use of electronic freight billing will save $4 billion globally if half of the shipping industry embraces digitization.

“Our first digital plans will make it easier for businesses in the country to buy and sell around the world – driving growth, charging our economy, cutting carbon, and increasing productivity,” said Digital Minister Michelle Donelan. “The United Kingdom played a pivotal role in creating the international trading system in the nineteenth century, and we are once again leading the world to promote global trade in the twenty-first century.”

The bill has been read in the House of Lords five times and will make its way to the House of Commons for another round of parliamentary deliberations. The latest proposed regulation was developed by the country’s Law Commission and arose from the G7’s commitment to promoting the country’s increasing digitization.

British tango with digital origins

The UK has had a tumultuous relationship with virtual currencies over the past few years that has been marked by the informal exit of Binance from the country and the suppression of ads from digital asset service providers by an ad regulator.

However, there appears to be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel with the Queen’s address to Parliament in May. The title content, while offering a smooth landing for providers, also gave broad powers to regulators to curb the industry and prevent asset class abuse.

“A bill will be introduced to further strengthen the powers to deal with illicit financing, reduce economic crime, and help businesses grow,” the letter said. “Measures will be taken to support the security services and help them protect the UK.”

While digital asset enthusiasts may run into fear, blockchain proponents can rest assured knowing they have the full backing of regulators.

Watch: BSV Global Blockchain Agreement Presentation, Elas: Creating Private and Licensed Ledgers on the Public Blockchain

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New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for beginners the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin – as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto – and the blockchain.

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