Blockchain in government | Blockchain Expo

By: Rebecca Clinton-Floyed

6, March, 2020


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Blockchain in government

Blockchain is no longer a technology that just works as a platform for cryptocurrencies to function. It has gradually become a more widespread technology to be used across many industries for various operations. Today, blockchain is also being used by various governments who are exploring ways to try out the distributed ledger technology.


Blockchain’s successful business model can depend upon government-enforced laws and regulations in a country. Nations like the UK, France, India and China have either prohibited cryptocurrencies or are introducing strict crypto regulations – though they recognise the technology’s benefits for government applications. Recently, in what was seen as a landmark case, the Indian Supreme Court lifted the ban on cryptocurrencies.


Here are some of the latest examples that show how blockchain is being implemented by governments around the world:


Recently, the Australian government has created a strategic document stating how the country can implement and benefit from blockchain-based technologies in five years’ time. For example, the Australian food and wine industry cost over AU$1.68b in 2017, owing to product counterfeiting and substitution. In general, the document highlights use cases around data redundancy, information transparency, data immutability, and a consensus mechanism – and for the best examples to have at least three out of those four.


The Australian government has outlined 12 primary areas of focus between now and 2025, including:


  • Establishing the National Blockchain Roadmap Advisory Committee and rechristening it the National Blockchain Roadmap Steering Committee


  • Forming a collaborative model encompassing working groups of industry, the research sector and government, to progress analysis on the next use cases


  • Looking for options for progressing use cases, with particular note of wine exports and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks


  • Creating and coordinating a group of government blockchain users


  • Referring international counterparts providing efficient blockchain government services


  • Working in collaboration with blockchain providers to engage with the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) programme that provides funding to SMEs to develop offerings for government policy among others


  • Making sure that the blockchain technology is included in broader policy work to increase management capability around digital technologies


China, despite its turbulent previous relationship with blockchain technologies, is using innovative technologies like AI and blockchain to settle millions of pending legal cases. More than 3.1 million litigation activities in China were settled through blockchain and AI-powered smart internet courts in a matter of some eight months. The Chinese courts of the future will aim to allow citizens to communicate with virtual, non-human AI-powered judges in front of multiple screens, without needing them to stay physically present in court. The intelligent system helps citizens to receive their court decisions by text or major messaging services.


In 2017, the world’s first smart internet court was established in the eastern city of Hangzhou and later similar courts were formed in Beijing and Guangzhou. In fact, a report released by the Supreme Court revealed that more than 1m citizens have already registered with the smart court system with 73,200 lawyers.


Late last year, the Uruguay Digital Party entered into an agreement with a blockchain platform provider Aeternity to create a system by which the technology could be used for internal voting and ‘optimise the participation processes of citizens.’ In his official statement, Pablo Coirolo, Aeternity Americas CEO, said: “The application of democratic governance that will be implemented by the Digital Party is based on the internal governance solution that Aeternity uses for internal community decision-making, which is a completely new architecture, allowing greater participation of citizens in political decisions at all levels, with unalterable reliability.”


Coirolo added: “This is an important milestone on the road to the massive use of blockchain technology to benefit democratic institutions.”


Find out more about how governments and other entities are utilising blockchain technologies at the Blockchain Expo.