It is the responsibility of the government to bring fair and efficient services to the people. Unfortunately, providing transparency and accountability often results in a loss of effectiveness and efficiency. Governments are usually forced to choose one to improve at the expense of the other. On rare occasions, technology comes along that enables governments to improve fairness And Skills.
There was a technology that moved from keeping paper-based records to computer databases. The internet was different. Blockchain next. Like the Internet before, blockchain will not only improve public communication with government services, it will have far-reaching economic and social implications.
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How can the government use blockchain
Blockchain will have a wide and varied impact on government services. Here we explore some promising examples.
Identity forms the basis for interaction with government services, but current systems are flawed in many ways. Let’s see two. First, the extensive and costly infrastructure required for identification. While developed countries enjoy the benefits of strong national identities, many developing countries struggle to provide strong identities. The World Bank estimates that an estimated 1 billion people do not have official evidence. Second, the current identity system is not secure. For example, India’s biometric authentication number system, known as Aadhaar, is vulnerable to widespread fraud, including land transfers, passport purchases, loans, voting, and more.
The strengths of the blockchain are significantly aligned to minimize the mentioned weaknesses. The decentralized design of a blockchain makes its installation and adjustment much less expensive than centralized design. Its unbelievable nature makes it more secure.
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In OECD countries, 2% of public spending is for public purchases. The OECD estimates that up to one-third of investments in public-funded construction projects could be affected by corruption.
Blockchain-based solutions are likely to affect almost every aspect of the purchasing cycle, such as transparency and major reforms involving stakeholder participation. The pilot project concludes that despite the challenges, “the blockchain-based e-procurement system provides unique benefits related to systemic transparency, consistent record keeping and honest disclosure.”
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Despite the advent of the digital age, paper-ballot-based voting remains an influential method of voting. This is understandable given the importance of elections in the democratic process. Nevertheless, paper-based systems suffer from problems related to cost, time and integrity. The replacement of paper-based voting, known as direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines, has met with mixed success. Brazil introduced the DRE in 1996, but security concerns remain. DRE in America began in 2001; However, progress and adoption have slowed as events continue with the DRE machine.
Even as a new technology, blockchain is not yet ready to replace existing voting systems, but it is already strengthening existing systems. For example, our company, in collaboration with the University of Indonesia, has set up an independent blockchain-based verification system to secure the results of Indonesia’s paper-based April 2019 elections. The project was able to report 25 million votes within hours of the polls closing. In contrast, the official results come out a few weeks later.
Related: Voting has evolved: Blockchain technology has surpassed paper ballots and e-voting
Out of government service
Governments that have experimented with blockchain have begun to see it as an essential infrastructure. They are beginning to realize that having blockchain infrastructure is important for freeing up economic activities. The government is interested in developing standards that will ultimately be adopted worldwide. China and the European Union are two such leaders and both are developing blockchain initiatives.
The Chinese leadership is very active in supporting the blockchain initiative. In December 2016, blockchain was mentioned in the country’s 1st Five Year Plan as a technology of strategic importance equivalent to artificial intelligence. Dozens of local administrations then conducted pilot projects using technology for applications ranging from smart city initiatives to environmental protection. In October 2019, China tested its nationwide blockchain service network (BSN), described as the “Internet of Blockschain”, which was officially launched in April 2020.
BSN, due to the scale and power of its supporters, is poised to become the world’s largest blockchain ecosystem. Within China, BSN will likely form the basis for improved coordination between business and the public sector. Even internationally, the draw to BSN could be significant. There are fears that BSN is potentially being controlled and monitored by the Chinese government, but such concerns could be ignored by organizations seeking closer access and integration with Chinese businesses. On the other hand, the fear of Chinese influence could exceed the profit motive, especially if effective global blockchain infrastructure is found.
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Efforts within the European Union to support blockchain initiatives have been as active as in China, albeit on a smaller scale and at a slower pace. The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was formed in February 2018, resulting in the formation of the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP). In 2019 EPB created European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI), a network of distribution nodes across Europe. EBSI has seven specific uses for developing government services. To promote public-private collaboration, the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) was formed. It brings together suppliers and users of blockchain solutions with representatives of government agencies and standards-setting agencies from around the world.
Europe’s approach to supporting and encouraging blockchain adoption is on a smaller scale than China’s BSN and its commitment to openness, transparency and inclusion in the early stages of progress means that international organizations may be more willing to adopt advanced structures.
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Blockchain technologies are now taking their place as a basic infrastructure for a future thinking government. The technology has reached the highest level of national strategic importance in the efforts of China and Europe to build blockchain infrastructure. It is impossible to predict exactly what the global blockchain infrastructure will look like, but it is certain that technology is on the rise.
The opinions, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the sole property of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Matthew van Niekerk Co-founder and CEO of Settlement একটি a low-code platform for enterprise blockchain development এবং and a data-breaker-data decentralized marketplace. He holds a BA with Honors from the University of Western Ontario in Canada and an International MBA from the Veric Business School in Belgium. Matthew has been working on fintech innovation since 200.