While global banks and financial institutions search for ways to integrate blockchain technology into their existing systems, here are eight ways governments could implement the technology to improve efficiency.
1. Provable Facts
Perianne Boring, president and founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a trade association focused on promoting digital assets to policymakers, told Govtech.com:
“We are talking about radical transparency. Anyone can look into the blockchain and look into every transaction that ever happened on the blockchain. And you can use it for any type of provable fact.”
2. Accurate Voting
One of the most anticipated proposals that governments could consider is electronic voting. Keeping accurate record of votes can be expensive and inefficient. According to an article published by Motherboard, crypto voting has already been used in elections in Norway, Denmark, Europe’s Pirate Party and the Spanish Congress since early 2014.
3. Government Accountability
A 2016 mayoral candidate of London has suggested implementing the technology to upgrade the existing government ledger for land and for the city’s financial and budget records. Because these records are kept permanently, without the blockchain there is a high possibility for them to be altered or faulted.
4. Increased Security
Governments could also upgrade the existing centralized ledgers that are vulnerable to hacking attacks. A decentralized, secure and transparent ledger could relieve the government from a very large portion of their budget allocated to handling records and ledgers.
5. Reduced Costs
Aaron Lasher, a board member of the iPhone bitcoin wallet Breadwallet, told govtech.com:
“Keeping these records involves hiring people, training these people, auditing these people, paying for the building, paying for pensions. So blockchain simply removes a lot of that inefficiency, along with a lot of the busywork.”
6. Efficient Social Programs
James Haight, an analyst at Blue Hull Research proposed using the technology to “ensure validity in social service programs like food stamps and welfare checks,” according to govtech.com. Allotments could be guaranteed and verified, which could help governments track down funds and follow whether they have been appropriately distributed.
7. Trackable Property
Another potential use involves the recording of patents and intellectual property. Due to the blockchain’s 100% transparency and its unforgeable nature, the information cannot be altered. It is also easily trackable, thus being the perfect solution for recording ownership of patents and properties.
8. Admissible Evidence
Shaun Appelbaun, special projects director at Mearkle Trueblood Adam, said such applications would be “a natural fit,” “if a court can be convinced that information in the blockchain is permanent and unforgeable.”