Blockchain technology: a significant opportunity for Georgia

According to the new ‘Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain: Europe and Central Asia Economic Update’ World Bank report, Georgia experienced a 5.0% growth in digital technology in 2017 and is projected to grow another 4.5% in 2018, putting the country in a position to take full advantage of new digital technologies to innovate and improve its services. The report highlights the widespread nature of blockchain technologies in Georgia that have emerged thanks to a highly-supportive environment for technological innovation and the rise of cryptocurrency mining.

While it remains to be seen if the extremely volatile cryptocurrencies represent a future sector for the country, the underlying blockchain technology is being adapted and used more broadly, with several governments in the region experimenting with blockchains to digitize and streamline public services. Although the overall implementation of these technologies is providing strong economic growth and helping to reduce employment, it is also causing challenges that Georgia (and other countries in the region) will have to overcome, including proper financial oversight (including ways to combat money laundering, tax evasion and illicit transactions), the massive increase in the use of electricity associated with the new technologies and a rise in inflation that is starting to slow the growth.