The Blockchain’s influence in the public sector looks set to take off as the distributed ledger technology is being explored by a number of governments for usage in land registration, identity management, voting, taxation, education, healthcare and other areas besides.
The immense interest in blockchain solutions expressed by the public sector stems from the technology’s three prime benefits of security, process transparency and data integrity.
Government agencies are flush with the kind of data that could do with the kind of help that the Blockchain can offer. We had a look at some of the more interesting applications that are being explored.
Blockchain ID Management to Counter Child Trafficking
The Eastern European country of Moldova is experimenting with blockchain technology to combat child trafficking, a problem which has taken on worrying proportions in the post-Communist era.
A lack of formal documental procedures in the country has resulted in a litany of undocumented children, particularly those living in rural areas, falling prey to kidnapping and traffickers.
The UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), a supporter of the Moldovan’s project to push for a system of paperless, biometric ID, has touted the advantages of the Blockchain-derived solution for tackling the problem of tracing and identifying children removed from their homes.
Blockchain Educational Certification
The European Commission (EC) released a report detailing the ways in which the Blockchain can be applied to solve various, entrenched issues within the education sector – particularly in relation to the certification and verification of qualifications and management of student records.
The EC plans to reduce education sector’s dependence on paper-based systems, by enabling digital award and authentication of qualification certifications and management of student records.
The Ministry of Education in France has also commented recently on the ability of Blockchain-managed certification systems to internationalise certification systems and render them more transparent to employers and universities.
Blockchain Green Energy
The Australian government has awarded a grant of AU $8 million to Australian startup Power Ledger, an energy marketplace aiming to connect buyers and sellers of solar power through a P2P marketplace. Power Ledger has been seeking to raise further capital through its own ICO.
WePower, a Lithuanian-based Green Energy ICO that is soon coming to market, has received formal backing from the Lithuanian government in its pursuit of creating a Blockchain-based ecosystem that encourages green energy solutions – including facilitating the creation and exchange of Green Energy Certificates in a marketplace that will also adopt a P2P model along the Power Ledger model.
The WePower model will allow local green energy suppliers to aggregate their energy-producing capacities and in turn satisfy the minimum production requirements for publicly-approved Green Energy Certification.
Still a Way to Go
However, choosing to use blockchain is not just a technological question but also a behavioural question for governments, as many are still in the process of setting up working groups to collate opinion and research into the benefits or otherwise of migrating existing solutions to a Blockchain model.