October 08, 2021 |James Messi
Human history proved that people had to live in an organized group for stability, safety, and prosperity. And for it to be organized, it had to be systematically led and governed. It needed a government so it can make organized decisions crucial in maintaining peace and stability. The government’s existence for thousands of years proved its importance in a society.
The government stands as a protector and provider. It has the responsibility to prioritize citizens’ well-being while protecting them and providing equal opportunities to improve the quality of life. The government must always adhere to fairness and accountability in the fulfillment of its duty.
In this modern period, the government greatly relies on technology in the execution of its services. The use of technology is necessary for the efficient and effective use of resources.
With the blockchain technology proving its reliability in cryptocurrency transactions, researchers believe it will also have a significant impact on government services. Here’s why:
Protects Sensitive Data
The government keeps records of people’s information. Putting millions of people’s personal data to digital platforms poses a significant danger if the system is compromised. The fact that blockchain is nearly impossible to attack makes it more appealing to use for government services.
Blockchain technology has been regarded as secure because of its structure. This means this technology might offer a realistic alternative to help governments keep information in a system. It is also ideal for online transactions, which is favorable in this pandemic when mobility is restricted.
The people can also feel a sense of security knowing that the government uses a more reliable technology. Data is decentralized and stored more securely on the blockchain. As a result, it is possible to track information, and one of the key outcomes is cybersecurity.
Governments may successfully apply blockchain technology in various areas, including taxes, payments, financial transactions, and health services, to name a few.
This technology can be used to carry out protocols to reduce value added tax (VAT) and minimize the tax burden, avoiding double taxation.
Meanwhile, governments can track financial transactions using data from public blockchains in the same manner that fiat currency transactions are tracked to ensure that the system does not facilitate criminal operations. The use of this technology by a government can be a critical tool in ensuring that financial transactions in the digital realm are legal.
On the other hand, governments can use blockchain technology to make substantial advances in the healthcare sector by building healthcare systems that are more efficient when it comes to handling patient data.
Better Use of Resources
Government agencies must carry out their missions while also managing limited resources. Blockchain could be a lifeline for government leaders overseeing budgets.
Blockchain technologies, when used correctly, may minimize redundancies, speed processes, reduce audit burden, improve security, and maintain data integrity.
A significant portion of corruption occurs during the government’s procurement process. Blockchain technology offers a potential aid to reduce corruption in this government procedure. It offers distinct advantages in terms of procedural transparency, long-term record-keeping, and honest disclosure.
The voting process in many democratic countries is still done using pen and paper. The government tried using advanced technologies like the electronic voting machine. It was hounded with security and fraud issues, so the government was forced to go back to the traditional voting process.
Blockchain technology is seen to enhance existing voting systems. An independent blockchain-based verification method conducted in Indonesia during the country’s April 2019 elections showed favorable results supporting this claim. Various organizations came up with this idea to ensure fairness and transparency of the election’s results.
While it took weeks for the official result to come out with the pen and paper system, the use of an independent blockchain-based verification system made it possible to release a report within hours after the closing of polling stations.
The smaller the gap between voting and reporting results, the lesser possibility to undermine the election process. The use of blockchain technology was seen to be the solution for countries grappling with counting and reporting issues during elections.
With its huge potential to improve services, governments worldwide are starting to start initiatives using blockchain technology.
For one, China’s government recognized bitcoin technology as a key technology alongside artificial intelligence. The technology was then used in pilot projects by dozens of local governments for purposes ranging from smart city efforts to environmental protection.
China tested its statewide Blockchain Service Network (BSN), dubbed the “internet of blockchains,” in October 2019, ahead of its official launch in April 2020. Because of the size and influence of its sponsors, the BSN is on track to become the world’s largest blockchain ecosystem.
On the other hand, initiatives from the European Union mirror China’s efforts despite moving on a much lesser scale and at a slower rate. In February 2018, the European Union established the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, giving birth to the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP). Later, the latter formed a network of distributed nodes across Europe called the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI). It is used to improve and develop government services.
Meanwhile, the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) was created to encourage public-private cooperation. It connects blockchain solution providers and users from around the world with representatives from governmental organizations and standard-setting authorities.
In improving openness, transparency, and efficiency, governments and international organizations should be more open to accepting and utilizing blockchain technology. The technology’s reliability to cryptocurrency transactions has so far proven its great potential and benefits to transform public service.