Written by Gary Spence

When applied in government sectors, blockchain solutions have the capability to streamline processes and improve public service delivery, which in turn garners public trust.

In relation to mature economies, the government must prove that blockchain technology is a worthwhile investment in terms of saving money and improving operations.

In emerging markets, companies must decide how they can use blockchain to gain an edge over the competition and foster trust with their clients.

Speed, Efficiency and Security, the 3 proponents of blockchain, are readily accessible. For this reason many government officials who see the massive potential are pushing forward for blockchain integration in the system.

Countries such as China, India, the UK, Canada and Brazil are running trials, and pilot tests to see how the unique architecture can be applied on day-to-day government operations, mainly for internal use. It’s worthy to note that each application is different and depends on the municipality, state and country.

Uses of Blockchain in Public Services

Identity Management

Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies and other assets. In order to have a successful integration, the asset must be transferred digitally from paper to digital form in order to exist. The owner must also create a digital link or identity that could act as a medium for transactions. Public sectors realize that the challenge stems from the fact that 20% of the world doesn’t have an official or legal recognized identity.

Current Pain Points:

  • First, there’s a lack of standards that come with identity establishment.
  • Identity entry points and differing attestation processes hinder public service provision and prevent economic engagement.

Value Proposition of Blockchain:

  • A self-contained, secure identity enables efficient transaction across different asset classes.
  • Both explicit and individual control over which identity data may be shared for what purpose.

Land Registration

Titling and land deeds form a cornerstone for economic and investment growth in developing nations, while protecting landowners. Blockchain can provide a non-corruptible, unique record that can be changed in a secure manner. Moreover, blockchain allows for property records to be created for stovepiped systems or for land areas that have no owners.

Current Pain Points:

  • As of today, registry processes and licenses are all paper-based, which makes transactions largely inefficient, costly and vulnerable to unauthorized changes.

Value Proposition of Blockchain:

  • A standardized and decentralized platform for land registration records minimizes required intermediary processes, paving the way for decreased time and costs, increased efficiency and building of trust between parties involved.

Voting

Blockchain developers are spending most of their efforts looking for ways on how they can integrate blockchain in this critical public function. Casting a vote can be likened to conducting any other secure transaction; voters can also confirm their votes aren’t tampered with along the way. Solutions are being generated to combine vital voting aspects such as individualized ballot processes, anonymous vote casting, digital identity management and ballot casting confirmations.

Current Pain Points:

  • High costs associated with electronic voting machines, ballot printing, maintenance, etc.
  • Rising cyber threat attacks could delay or compromise election results.
  • No transparency regarding audits of election results.
  • Added inefficiencies regarding absentee/remote voting and delays.

Value Proposition of Blockchain:

  • Blockchain-based voting can reduce voting costs significantly.
  • Better vote audibility and enhanced security.
  • Chances of higher participation, including remote areas.
  • Greater transparency.

Conclusion

Tech analysts have claimed that blockchain technology can potentially save the financial services industry, health care and the insurance industry somewhere between $2 to $4 billion per year. With the ongoing research, experiments, trials and prototypes happening all over the world, it’s just a matter of time before governments start looking into blockchain as a viable platform to integrate in their public sector systems.

The only question is if there’s a public servant who’s forward thinking and motivated enough to start implementing blockchain solutions in order to enhance mission delivery, improve overall cyber-security and cut down on government operational costs.

Blockchain solutions shouldn’t just be viewed at a technological standpoint. It’s a game-changer that can modernize whole business processes, models and even affect stakeholders and how they function. One thing to keep in mind is that blockchain is not a silver bullet that solves any problem, and that it’s not the end-all solution to every situation. Developers and users must still seek out and address managerial and other technological challenges.

Blockchain can still improve in terms of systems integration, data standardization, validation methods and platform scalability. On the managerial aspect, there are still challenges regarding maturity, transaction scale, incentive structure and business model transformation.

Governments can start on this one single question – Do you want to take advantage of the newest technology and capture all the inherent benefits of blockchain and its potential to change the whole world?

 

Author Bio

Gary Spence is CEO of Yotta Laboratories. He is a Chief Architect of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and a Digital Technology Specialist. Spence’s ambition is to take business technology to its next level, therefore, creating efficient savings of time and expenditure.

Spence has an extensive and unique skill set with experience in Blockchain protocol details, transactions, mining, and consensus. He also has smart contract developmental experience with Eris/Ethereum/Blockapps and experience with Distributed Storage Technology, Misys TI+/TradePortal Java, JEE Twisted Python, DB2, MS SQL, Oracle, XML, CSS, JSP, HTML, web development frameworks, JMS, Web Services and Tomcat Java Web Start, IBM, WebSphere, log4j.

Spence’s vision is to build reusable modular core libraries for use across a line of multiple products, creating a full ecosystem.

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