Application of Blockchain Technology in the Government Sector — Part I
The development of blockchain technology is global. The main reason why this technology is ahead of previous breakthrough technologies and is gaining critical mass so quickly is that it emerged in an era of digital transformation that affected most sectors of the economy.
At a first glance, blockchain and government processes are not the most compatible things. There is a general perception that technology and governments are competing with each other. This is likely because cryptocurrencies are reducing or even eliminating the need for centralized institutions. In fact, we are beginning to see that many nations are pushing for more widespread use of blockchain technology for many reasons.
Blockchain provides governments with a fast, secure, efficient, and transparent way to deliver government services and communicate with their populations. Areas, where governments could apply blockchain, include supply chain, medical records, transportation, voting, energy, taxation, land ownership, tokenization of social benefits, citizen engagement, and the use of digital currencies.
Eastern European governments are often pioneering in implementing blockchain technology, most notably Estonia, which has been testing the technology since 2008. The blockchain serves as the basis for the well-known e-Estonia program, which connects government services on a single digital platform. The project brings together a vast amount of sensitive data from health authorities, the judiciary, the legislature, the security services, and the commercial register stored in a distributed ledger to protect it from corruption and misuse. The so-called keyless signature infrastructure fused cryptographic hash functions with a distributed ledger, allowing officials and the state to ensure the accuracy of any record in the network.
Here are the most used use cases for blockchain technology in government applications.
Despite the fact that electronic medical records, online access to patient data, and their modification can be implemented without the use of blockchain, the problem of data reliability and reliability remains unresolved. When using blockchain technology, unauthorized change/access/use of citizens’ data becomes impossible, since any information about such actions is recorded in the system.
In Holland in 2016, Prescrypt, in collaboration with SNS Bank NV and Deloitte, developed a blockchain application that makes services easier and more accessible for chronically ill patients. The concept uses an online authentication iDIN service provided by banks as a means to connect to the blockchain. iDIN offers the same security and convenience as internet banking.
In developing countries, ownership of land is still poorly documented, as a result landlords are unable to sell it, take out mortgage loans or conduct other transactions regarding the land.
Blockchain helps to improve operational processes, significantly reducing the transaction time, which often takes several months, and reduces the risk of fraud and errors in documents and transactions (transfer of rights, for example).
In Ghana, in early 2016, the Bitland project, based on the Graphene platform, received official permission from the Ghanaian government to compile a land registry based on the Bitshares blockchain and released CADASTRAL – base tokens. With their help, it will be possible to register land rights, resolve controversial land tenure issues, sell and buy land.
Improved Cargo Tracking
Smuggling, counterfeiting, and fraud are a rising challenge in a world where logos can be copied off the internet and the provenance of everything from seafood to fine art can be forged with the right stamp. Various countries are experimenting with blockchain tools to create chains of custody on products. While these are still in the experimental stages, they’re showing promise in solving a thorny issue in international relations.
More use cases connected with corruption:
Blockchain may assist in the fight against government corruption:
Blockchain has the potential to play a crucial role in the fight against government corruption. This solution integrates continuous and tamper-evident record-keeping, real-time transaction visibility and traceability, and automated smart contract features into a single implementation.
Government contracting is the largest source of government corruption and the largest marketplace for public expenditure. This mechanism is a magnet of corruption due to a number of reasons. Vendor selection is a complicated and indirect process that requires a great deal of human judgment. These flaws not only waste a lot of money, but they often manipulate consumer costs, eliminate healthy competition, and often result in substandard products and unreliable resources.
BLOCK.CO closely works with the Government representative sector of Cyprus and the Nicosia Municipality to assist in third-party monitoring of tamper-evident activities and allowing greater impartiality and standardization through integrated smart contracts, our blockchain-based mechanism adequately address the municipality’s corruption-risk variables, improving the integrity and responsiveness of operations and participants.
Concerns about election protection, voter registration transparency, poll accessibility, and voter turnout have prompted governments to look at blockchain-based voting systems as a way to boost credibility and involvement in critical democratic processes. The decentralized, transparent, immutable, and encrypted properties of blockchain could help reduce election tampering and increase poll availability.
Many governments spend millions per year to fund a variety of causes, including education, culture, humanitarian relief, and social assistance. This procedure is often complicated, ambiguous, and inefficient, resulting in money being lost due to banking fees and intermediaries, as well as the possibility of fraudulent financial ventures. Blockchain can increase public confidence in such systems. The ability to decentralize and reduce the number of people involved in grant approvals, disbursements, and supervision could speed up the process, lower costs, and lessen the occurrence of illegal financial siphoning.
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