Government use of blockchain
Land title registers, property transactions, academic certificates verification, personal documents storage and sharing, digital identity for proof of residency, eVoting, e-government, pension system management. These are the spheres, where innovative technologies gained the upper hand, and significantly improved efficiency, cost-saving, the way of thinking, and the way of our life.
In this article dedicated to the governmental use of blockchain technology in everyday life, we would like to show you examples of countries, which have implemented innovative stories into the history of their lands. Such solutions have led them not only to the protection of the citizens, but also to the efficiency, and cost-saving practices.
EFFICIENCY — IMPROVED, COST — SAVED
The first country while mentioning the e-services, which comes to everyone’s mind is Estonia, one of the leaders in transforming the whole old system into another plane. The Republic of Estonia, or how it is called back home Eesti, has become the first state in the world to implement blockchain on a national level in 2007, and since that time is looking forward to applying it in many spheres:
- E-identity, that allows the citizens access to platforms, such as ID-card, Mobile-ID, e-Residency, or Smart-ID. This feature follows with an interesting fact, that more digital signatures have been used in Estonia than in the rest of the European Union altogether.
- Interoperability services, such as X-Road, or e-Land Register save citizens 844 years of working time every year by providing the link between the government and society. 99% is the figure showing how much of the state’s services are available online.
- After the cyber attack in Estonia in 2007, scalable blockchain technology was created to ensure the security of data stored in government repositories and to secure data from insider threats to the country. Now the state is using the e-Law, e-Justice, and even e-Police.
The range of services provided by the Estonian government is huge and has an endless list, including other areas in healthcare, e-governance, mobility services, business and finance, or education and research.
All the mentioned aspects have led not only to the increase in efficiency but also to the cost-saving, for example, the digital authentication and signature system used by the whole population has been estimated to save up to 2% of GDP annually.
The next country on our list is sunny Georgia, which was the first country to implement the blockchain land-registry system. Now the state is proud of the fact that there are more than 1.5 million land titles registered, and the registration takes only 3 minutes for an ordinary residence.
The main goal of implementing such a system was to enhance the citizen’s trust in the government and strengthen property rights.
“Blockchain is the best solution for a more secure, efficient land-titling system. Thanks to blockchain’s inherent immutability, citizens know their records are safe and that their ownership rights cannot be unfairly contested.” — Bitfury Exonum company.
With the use of a special platform, it takes only 3 minutes for the usual citizen to create a specially secured hash code, which enables a person to prove his/her rights for the ownership of the property.
Another success factor is user agnosticism. Citizens interact via a convenient web interface and do not need to know anything about blockchain to use the service, therefore they feel comfortable, and should not be scared to use new technologies.
The third country in our list using the innovations in the functioning of the state is the Netherlands, which initiated better services provision in a pension fund with the use of modern technologies.
Due to the changing job market and the increasing number of people, who change their workplace often, the pension infrastructure needs to maintain all information about the employment history and proceed with efficient schemes without any uncertainties for the pensioners.
The aim of the project is to realize a more flexible and transparent pension administration system for citizens while reducing pension management costs significantly. The project was initiated on the notion of the large similarities between blockchain payments and pension administration. In both systems actors have a personal balance and transactions between the balances occur, more specifically the transfers from the pension fund to the citizen account for the above mentioned case.
After the testing phase, the project’s objective is also to reduce the costs for all pension participants, as the system requires a great number of paperwork. The total cost of pension administration in the Netherlands is estimated at the level of €1 billion, and the blockchain-based pension infrastructure will be able to generate €500 million of cost savings.
DATA PROTECTING — TRUSTWORTHINESS WITH CITIZENS
Blockchain technology is, first of all, a secured database, which allows every participating side to keep information unchanged, and protected. Such a feature allows the government and citizens to trust each other, and be sure of the functioning of the state.
Besides, corruption scandals around the globe, inefficiency in service delivery, general distrust in the medieval forms of the ruling, have become a challenge that innovative technology can try to solve.
Birth certificates, passports, social security numbers, addresses, driver’s licenses, diploma certificates are the documents and information that we are carrying all around us, and which can be easily breached by hackers. Due to the Equifax hack in 2017 in the USA, more than 147 million citizens were exposed, which led to a huge scandal of lack of protection from the side of the government.
Such attacks can be, if not prevented, but mitigated, and the use of blockchain technology can be a milestone, like once has become The World Wide Web, or Broadband internet.
The world is being conquered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and it is accelerating, therefore it would be better to catch the train now, and make the world more secure, protected, and fair.
On behalf of the article, 3IPK wants to present another application of blockchain and how many ways of implementing it can have. We understand how much it is needed to feel safe globally, and we are bringing the solution that can make your life a bit easier, a bit more protected, and a bit more innovative just right now.