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Bringing Blockchain into Governance

It is surprising to know, but governments worldwide are using Blockchain technology to provide better services. Governments of several countries are leveraging Blockchain projects as it has shown the immense potential of ensuring better implementation of public policy. Blockchain represents a distributed ledger technology that is bringing revolutionary changes in almost every industry. Blockchain platform offers significant features such as transparency, immutability, privacy, and security, making governments across the globe adopt Blockchain technologies to provide better public services. In the important countries of the world like India, UK and North and South America, and several other developed and developing countries, governments are leveraging Blockchain technology to build a better future of their people. There are distinct reasons for every government for adopting Blockchain technologies, which include creating a paperless, secure, corruption-free system or experiencing transparent administration and reliable sharing of data with the people of the country. With the boom in the technology sector, demand for Blockchain professionals and Blockchain training increases at an alarming rate. And Blockchain professionals have now made it to the governance of countries around the world. 

Before exploring how Blockchain projects are helping governments worldwide, we must know about the tangible benefits Blockchain is capable of delivering to the government clients. There are three major benefits which are improving policy implementation in the public sector:

  • Building Trust with People: According to a Pew Research Center report, nearly 20% of the total Americans trust their government that what it does all the time is right. There are several reasons for the same, but this tendency may take a U-turn with the potential of Blockchain. Blockchain-based solutions offer transparency through a higher degree of decentralization, allowing access to see and verify data for participating parties. With a Blockchain solution, citizens become able to independently verifying governmental claims. By realizing the possibility of sharing records among citizens and government, can grow the potential for distrust decreases.
  • Protection of Sensitive Data: Increasing digitization has inspired the breach of personal data. Hackers target the governments, as the government of any country is the default record keeper for society. But, responsible deployment of Blockchain data structures can mitigate or avoid such attacks. These data structures reduce single-point-of-failure risk and strengthen network security. Government agencies in the USA like DHS have shown serious concerns and adopted Blockchain cybersecurity applications.
  • Reducing Cost and Enhancing Efficiency: Even with the scarcity of resources, government agencies are responsible for performing their duties. In such a deficiency of budget, Blockchain may be the rescue as the Blockchain solutions can reduce redundancy, streamlining processes, decreasing the burden of audit, increasing security and ensuring data integrity.

Blockchain offers three top popular projects, i.e. RSK, also known as Rootstock (a smart contract platform provides Bitcoin Blockchain smart contract functionalities); ICON (based on Blockchain, a decentralized network connects several Blockchains across the globe); and Power Ledger (offers an energy trading platform for selling and buying renewable energy in a decentralized way) 

How are Blockchain Projects Helpful for Government?

The above mentioned top projects are helping governments of different countries in several ways, which are:

  1. RSK: Presently, the Central Bank of Argentina, BCRA, is working on RSK technology-powered proof-of-concept, which focuses on a decentralized platform implementation that would enable end-to-end traceability of account debit claims. Banks, Clearinghouses, financial agents and so many other actors in the financial system are going to have access to this solution to make reliable and secure transactions and achieve end-to-end traceability to manage every single claim maintaining the track of the bank account updates entered the system. Another government tech company, OS City, attempts transformation of government into a digital services platform. The platform, being based on RSK, allows the government to regain public trust, prevents corruption and bribery, enhances transparency and promotes accountability in decision-making. This platform aims to build smart cities for the next generation.
  2. ICON: ICON is Blockchain technology and network framework designed to allow independent Blockchain to interact through smart contracts. ICON is a preferred Blockchain tech partner of governments that is functional on various government-held projects in different fields such as insurance, custom service, healthcare and education. ICON and Cyberdigm have come together to build a Blockchain-based contract platform, which is called Chain Sign, that allows digital signing of legally binding contracts. ICON is a loop chain-powered project and has proved its cost efficiency and anti-hacking security capabilities to a certain group of clients in the USA including the government’s regulatory authority, financial supervisory service and Samsung electronics.
  3. Power Ledger: This project is based in Australia, and utilizes Blockchain technology to trade-in renewable energy and environmental commodities. It enables a decentralized model of energy trading from rooftop solar panels, and it also aims to develop an operating system for new marketplaces. Many countries like Australia, India, Thailand, Japan, and the USA have affirmed Power Ledger’s proprietary software’s utility. Not only Australia, but Power Ledger has assisted in public policy implementation in Thailand also. Other Government sector companies like Thai Renewable Energy Business BCPG and Thai Utility Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) rely on Power Ledger for rooftop solar power trading to meet the increasing energy demand.

The above discussion clarifies how governments of various countries have leveraged Blockchain technology to meet the public sector’s fundamental needs. There have been numerous projects proposed by Blockchain that help governments address key challenges related to public policy. But, the constraints of comprehensive application of Blockchain technology, such as cybersecurity, regulatory compliance etc. which are a matter of concern. Despite concerns, Blockchain technology has shown immense possibilities of its application in more government projects as with maturity Blockchain has ensured relatively increased trust, security and efficiency for citizens.

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