Foreword The progress of mankind is marked by the rise of new technologies and the human ingenuity they unlock. In distributed ledger technology, we may be witnessing one of those potential explosions of creative potential that catalyse exceptional levels of innovation. The technology could prove to have the capacity to deliver a new kind of trust to a wide range of services. As we have seen open data revolutionise the citizen’s relationship with the state, so may the visibility in these technologies reform our financial markets, supply chains, consumer and business-to-business services, and publicly-held registers. We know there will be challenges as Distributed Ledgers mature and disrupt how we think about and store data. The UK is in a unique position to explore those challenges and help maximise the benefits to our public services and our economy. We already have world-class digital capability, innovative financial services, a strong research community and growing private sector expertise. It is vital that our key assets – including the Alan Turing Institute, Open Data Institute and the Digital Catapult – work together with the private sector and with international partners to unlock the full potential of this technology. We are both, therefore, delighted to be jointly leading efforts in this area, and look forward to working with other departments on seizing the opportunity as well as understanding how its use can be implemented for the benefit of UK citizens and the economy.