The blockchain technology is gradually attracting the attention of physical retailers, e-tailers, and the entire private sector industry.
This technology, which makes it possible to rely on a “virtual register,” tracing all the operations transparently, induces a multitude of applications in many sectors.
That’s why some government agencies are looking to develop their own distributed ledger technologies. In the public sector, the Blockchain system can take many use cases.
Just to give an example, it can facilitate the protection of recordings, verify digital evidence, and organize all the interactions with citizens in a superior manner.
Potential for public administrations
The activities carried out by the public administrations are diverse and can range from a simple issue of identity documents to complex bureaucratic legal or fiscal functions.
But, whatever the activity carried out or not, each one of them must be able to support a system, making it possible to maintain and follow certain norms.
Current systems often make the processing of public data complex. They usually require the work of several agents to verify their accuracy.
Various data such as marital status, criminal records, property transfers, business start-ups, death certificates, etc. involve spending time and energy. And beyond the need for accuracy, this type of data is often confidential. Thus it must be handled with the utmost care.
This is why it seems that different governments could take advantage of Blockchain technology to guarantee citizens better privacy and security for their personal information.
The British Ministry of Justice is eager to implement Blockchain technology
The technology of “distributed registers” makes it possible to keep a record of each transaction – a trace recorded indelibly in a decentralized system.
Thanks to the successes of testing this technology in the financial sector, many governments realize now that they could also benefit from it. The transition to this new technology could take a variety of forms.
For example, when trying to manage criminal prosecutions, public servants sometimes need to rely on verifiable digital evidence. By using the technology of “distributed registers,” these administrations could ensure the authenticity of the sensitive information while they are up to date.
Increasing interest in the sector
In February 2015, McKinsey & Company announced on its website the different benefits that the blockchain technology could bring to the public sector. The company believes that it would allow the protection of critical data, to ensure the ownership of goods, or to create a robust network for the different public services to use.
Another example of the public sector’s use of this technology is the Delaware Blockchain Initiative, launched in May 2016 by Jack Markel, state governor.
While the first task of the project, which was to apply Blockchain technology to the state’s public archives, has been completed, it now seeks to create “smart UCC” filings (a legal way for a lender to make known he holds an interest in the collateral of a borrower).
Not only will this accelerate a system primarily based on paperwork, but it may also allow borrowers to “better manage their credit risk.”
Estonia has pioneered the use of Blockchain in the public sector, called Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) to safeguard all public-sector data.
As the months go by and the appetite of different governments for this technology rises, there is no doubt that it could soon be used in many other countries.
In Sweden, where the cumulative value of all properties is currently valued at more than 11 trillion Swedish Krona, the country’s land-registry authority, Lantmäteriet, is exploring ways to digitize the process.
It is prototyping a mobile app that would provide transaction space for sellers and buyers as well as their real-estate agents and banks. The Republic of Georgia has indicated that it will test a similar technology, allowing citizens and companies to employ a smartphone application to acquire and transfer property titles within a short period and at a limited cost.
The US state of Delaware is in the early stages of creating incorporation services based on Blockchain records and smart contracts, rather than paper-based exchanges.
The Crown Prince of Dubai has pushed for a strategic plan for all official documents to be secured by Blockchain technology by 2020. The goal is to simplify interactions between government agencies and citizens.
Whether it is used for polling, criminal investigation or public data collection, the blockchain technology seems to bring many advantages to our lives.