Blockchain technology emerged in the midst of a global economic crisis. According to the World Economic Forum, blockchain technology is defined as “a technological protocol that enables data to be exchanged directly between different contracting parties within a network without the need for intermediaries.” Blockchain, due to its potential to curb the middleman economy, presents great prospects that could transform industries, business models and systems of public service delivery.
The benefits of privacy, security, and speed can be beneficial for public sector departments and organisations as well as administrative leaders. This is why various experiments and blockchain initiatives by governments are picking up psace globally. Here are some examples:
Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) for Welfare Payment in The United Kingdom
In 2016, the Department for Work and Pensions started a trial to use blockchain technology where the claimants could receive and spend benefits payments through a mobile application. With the beneficiary’s consent, the transactions are theb recorded on a distributed ledger to help in their financial management. This initiative was aimed at reducing benefit fraud and registering assets.
Blockchain Identity Management and EHRs in Estonia
Estonia has 1 million health records and all of them will soon be secured through blockchain technology. Every update and access to healthcare records is registered on the blockchain, preventing medical fraud and making it impossible for hackers to hide their trail. It also provides real-time alerts to attacks, enabling the government to respond to incidents immediately before large-scale damages occur.
Blockchain Interbank Payments in Singapore
The government of Singapore has completed a proof-of-concept pilot to use blockchain for inter-bank payments. The technology is expected to simplify the process of payments, reduce transaction time, enhance transparency and reduce the cost of record-keeping. The Monetary Authority of Singapore is also thinking of using blockchain technology to verify contract performance and to deter money laundering.
Smart Blockchain Contracts for Public Archives in USA
The Delaware Public Archives is out to become the first to use the distributed ledger technology or blockchain to archive and encrypt government documents to allow automated and secure access to the archives. This would mean that the archives can be replicated in multiple locations, saving the cost of physical storage and providing better recovery from disasters.