Blockchain Still Has Some fight in it; How Blockchain is revolutionizing Public Administration
For too long, many people have confused, Bitcoin and Blockchain as one and the same thing. The blockchain is certainly the technology underpinning Bitcoin, but to dismiss Blockchain technology on the basis of the recent struggles with Bit-coin is to throw the baby away with the bath water. While the arguments have gone on, Blockchain has made a significant leap behind the scenes, going from relative obscurity to mainstream topic in just a few years.
Blockchain has shown itself to have cross-cutting applicability and hundreds of leaders in government have jumped on the wagon to announce varied uses of the technology. Whether it is for payments solutions, supply chain, identity management, securing data sharing, and more, blockchain has shown a significant level of relevance.
Here are three compelling benefits within the public sector especially in the areas of Public Administration.
Bureaucracy has been the bane of government services for ages by way of highlighting this lack in Government services, Sasha Ivanov, Founder, and CEO of the Vostok and Waves Blockchain platforms states:
“What public administration lacks at the moment is a more convenient User Experience (UX) to work with the data, what could improve the UX is the introduction of a certain layer, a trusted common environment that will anonymize and store the data transparently and unalterably”.
This introduction is what Blockchain has aimed to do for the Public administration sector and the most glaring adoption as yet is the blockchain programs held by the USA’s GSA.
The USA launched its Federal Blockchain program for federal agencies and businesses and hosted its first US Federal Blockchain Forum in July 2017 and the GSA currently has a repository of over 200 use cases.
“Distributed systems could indeed help create such a trusted environment, improve our work with Big Data and even serve as a glue bringing all emerging technologies together including Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things”, explains Ivanov. “Every time when you deal with any technology, it is always the sum of some others”.
Enhancing Trust Among Government and Citizens
Only 18 percent of Americans say they can trust the government to do what is right most of the time, this data was revealed by a study conducted by The Pew Research Center. This is both sad and true and the reasons for this distrust are numerous and varied… admittedly beyond Blockchains ability to reverse totally.
However, one of the main reasons that blockchain technology is so attractive is its transparency through decentralization, which allows for participating parties to see and verify data; in this case; Citizens. What this means is that in a properly Blockchain integrated system for citizen services, Citizens could have the ability for independent verification of governmental claims.
The governments of Sweden, Estonia, and Georgia are already experimenting with blockchain-based land registries, enabling multiple parties to securely hold copies of the registry. in a nutshell, governments and Citizens could have shared access to vital data and hence, increase trust exponentially. The dynamics of how this works still appears unclear to some people.
Ivanov attempts to explain further; “Unlike scattered centralized systems, a single ledger powered by blockchain can refine the tendering or any other process where financial tracking needs to be as transparent as possible. The adoption of blockchain will help to track how funds are being spent and ensure the expenses are made as was intended and within the permitted time.”
Whether Governments find this desirable to apply across the board is a matter for further debate, but as to its value to enhance trust, we have no doubt.