Across the globe governments have been considering how they can use blockchain to improve the lives of their citizens. One of the advantages of the blockchain technology which has endeared governments to it is the fact that records can be stored on a decentralized ledger. Not only is the system secure but the records are immutable and tamperproof.
Some of the records that governments are looking to put on the blockchain include property and motor vehicle registrations. Other records are in the healthcare and education sectors. In the case of education for instance the blockchain technology could serve to give confidence to employers that the credentials job seekers are presenting have not been faked and are thus authentic.
The blockchain technology can also assist in reducing or weeding out corruption in the procurement departments of the public sector by making the supply chain more transparent and accountable. Since the records stored on the blockchain are immutable audit trails will be left with regards to every transaction.
Governments would also benefit from the blockchain technology in that they will be better equipped to recover from disasters. This is because documents can be replicated in a couple of locations and this also saves costs that would be incurred with regards to off-site physical storage.
The blockchain technology can also be used in streamlining and improving government operations. This includes regulatory compliance, financial transactions management, e-voting, contract management, shipping, and identity management among others.
In the United States various government agencies have been undertaking an evaluation of the blockchain technology. This is in areas such as the issuance of visas, passports, social security numbers, birth certificates. Other areas that the government agencies in the U.S. are looking to implement blockchain technologies include federal assistance, foreign aid delivery, patents, royalties, copyrights and trademarks.
Earlier in the year the General Services Administration?s Emerging Citizen Technology office launched the U.S. Federal Blockchain Program meant for federal agencies as well as businesses in the United States. This blockchain program has already been used in expediting and automating the review of contracts in the Fast Lane program.
Government departments and agencies
The U.S. Treasury Department has also undertaken an implementation of a pilot project aimed at checking the feasibility of blockchain technology in the management of the supply chain. The Department of Defense is also exploring ways of using blockchain technology as well as determining the risks that are posed by the decentralized ledger technology.
The State Department has also come out to urge partnerships in the private sector to ensure economic development across the globe. According to the state department when private public partnerships make use of the blockchain technology transparency will be one of the benefits. This will address issues of corruption, fraud, funds misappropriation as well as the inefficiencies that are inherent in public procurement.
Other departments and government agencies that are exploring the use of the blockchain technology in their functions include Homeland Security and NASA ? National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The latter is particularly focused on using blockchain technology with a view to developing efficient computing techniques as well as communication systems.
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