TWO years ago a team of seven activists walked 500 miles for independence, ending their journey at the head of the 100,000 who marched in Edinburgh on a bright sunny day.

One of their main messages was about blockchain democracy and the way it could be used to transform Scotland.

Next month, on the sixth anniversary of the independence referendum, a group of activists will meet at Eilean Donan Castle and start on a journey that they hope will end with independence. They are calling it the Long Walk to Freedom and the principal walk will go north and east around Scotland to the Border near Berwick-upon-Tweed over a distance of 1320 miles to mark the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.

Another group will walk from Eilean Donan Bridge to Glasgow on a route covering 500 miles and taking in the most beautiful scenery in Scotland. Walk three will start from Ayr on the day that the main walk reaches Aberdeen and will arrive at the Border at Berwick at the same time as the main walk after covering a distance of 700 miles.

The story of that first 500-mile walk is well known thanks to the interaction of the walkers with Yes groups from all across the country.

A spokesperson for the organisers said: “Two years have passed and the contacts made and lessons learned have enabled Scotland to build its own blockchain which underpins something called the Digital Scottish Covenant.

“The Digital Covenant is based on the original Scottish Covenant which was taken out across the country in the 1950s to demand Home Rule for Scotland and in spite of reaching enough people was spurned by Westminster.

“Paper and pen is a very easy way to make claims about the authenticity of votes. With that in mind and with technical advances as well as constitutional ones the Digital Scottish Covenant was born and is now tied to the Ethereum blockchain which is a digital currency that has been secure since its inception.

“This means that every single signature can be verified as eligible to vote in Scotland on a given date. Digital however has its drawbacks in that not everyone is digitally literate.

“Voters may not see a post on Facebook or Twitter. So using the experience we gained two years ago the #500miles team who included Nicholas Russell who helped build the blockchain with Napier University were asked if we fancied another walk but this time with a goal of reaching every town and every city in Scotland before St Andrew’s Day in 2020.

“We built an organising team that is megalithic compared to the one from 2018 with professional project managers who have taken a three month hiatus from their careers to make this work and contacted the walkers of the original 500 miles as well as many who wished they had taken part.”

The planning has been done with the coronavirus pandemic always in mind. The spokesperson added: “Each team of minimum two full distance walkers will make a social bubble with their support crew who will all meet before the start of the walk and be together for the duration.

“Interaction with Yes groups and supporters will be done using the same social distancing policies used in phase one of lockdown.

“It means we will shake less hands and hug less friends but we want to make sure everyone is alive and well by the time we reach our objective. What we will have is an app that will allow people to sign the digital covenant on their phone or tablet and as we pass we will show locals how to use it so that they can then do the same within their own communities.

“Each group on the 1320 and the 700 will walk an average of 18-20 miles a day and the 500 will walk an average of 10 miles a day. A lot less than in 2018 allowing for more time to be able to sell the benefits of the Covenant around the country.

“The Covenant allows you to express your sovereign will as a Scot. A principle not only signed up to by the Scottish parliament but also Westminster when the Claim of Right went through unopposed in 2018. Westminster knows it will lose a referendum so will not allow one or if they do with conditions that no sovereign Scot would accept.”

You can view and sign the Scottish Digital Covenant at