All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) – Blockchain

All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) – Blockchain
8th April 2020

Ross Edwards – IORMA Technology Director

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain recently held their first meeting online and was chaired by Martin Docherty-Hughs MP and co-chaired by Professor Birgitte Andersen from The Big Innovation Centre.

APPG Blockchain

Angel LuisMartin Bautista Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital transformation in the Spanish Government.

Angel is part of the European blockchain partnership looking at building a European blockchain service infrastructure which is looking to bring the use of blockchain to sectors such as cross border security,  vaccination certificates and help stopping institutionalised corruption. It would also help in other ways such as stopping computer attacks and he mentioned it is safer then the pictographic algorithms used at the moment.

Andrew Tobin  Managing Director EMEA, Evemym Inc

Andrew pointed out the uses for blockchain such as onboarding for Doctors who sometimes have to wait over 24hrs to be cleared to work at a hospital, this could be done in seconds with Digital verifiable credentials. He pointed out the need for the use of open standards and open source software and platform for integrity.

It was also pointed out that the patients identity along with the Doctors could be confirmed which is especially important if the patient is being seen remotely. And that once properly implemented anyone should be able to issue digital identities and anyone could accept them.

Taavi Roivas, former Estonian Prime Minister

Taavi started out by giving us some background as to why Estonia went digital early 2000s

More than half the digital signatures in the world today are Estonian and pointed out the massive saving in paper and time.

Taavi mentioned that a self employed Estonian citizen could declare taxes digitally in under 2mins and that as from 2008 medical data has been on one central system so it does not matter which hospital they end up in the country the patients data can be accessed straight away. Taavi also stressed the importance of keeping data intact.

Marta Piekarska, Director of eco systems at Hyperledger

Marta introduced the Hyperledger platform, a Linux foundation project which supports open source projects and is currently running over 120 different projects including cloud native computing. One of its aims is to advance the use of blockchain over core technologies, it has 14 different blockchain projects including digital identities and self sovereign identification.

She also mentioned a need for decentralised autonomous identity, self sovereign identity where data belongs and is controlled by the user or individual machine rather then a centrally controlled authority

One hyperledger project that makes use of blockchain is irespond- which helps prepare sensitive data of patients such as HIV and another one that traces people’s interaction with other people.

Don Tapscott  Canadian founder of Blockchain Research Institute.

Don had two questions

1.   How can this, the virus situation, be avoided in the future

2.   How can blockchain help us move forward.

Don has just written a 25,000 word report on blockchain, public health and pandemics.

He felt that this is a rare turning point and opportunity in history and that Governments should be central to moving forward digitally and the need for a transaction platform which could be blockchain

It could be the heart of the supply chains which are a $50 trillion industry and he sees getting a real time view of digital assets representing real assets in transit.

He did mention that the need to protect the rights of the individual needs to be balanced against the needs of the government.

Don thought that the oil and gas industry could be in trouble and that one of the main occupations in Canada, truck driving, could be under threat and that a new social contract would be needed and a need to move to digital cash such as FIAT.

Geoffrey Goodwell  Senior Research Associate, UCL

Geoffery pointed out the need for the care while tracking individuals, being respectful of human rights with the digital identity system used and he asked who benefits from the records and data being kept? 

Self sovereign systems  depend on a master or route identity that is linked to one digital identity.

Single route identity could cause problems, to ensure people can take advantage of the same freedom they have now we need to ensure they have access to multi unlinkable digital identities.

Jonathan Levi from MiPasa

MiPasa is a secure and trusted blockchain based platform, helping to collect, validate and use COVID-19 data in a humane and sustainable way for governments, app builders and individuals.

Jonathan explained they were a global consortium including HACERA & IBM,Oracle and Microsoft among others.

He then spoke about three areas.


Making sure of the integrity of the data, that it is the most up to date version  and that the engineering and preparation of the data is done properly.


Preventing malicious or inadvertent data tampering by using and combining the best security tools.


Even though this is temporary crisis once the data is out there it is out there for good.

Hackathons are good but the outcomes have a tendency to break easily.

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