When blockchain was first introduced nearly three decades ago, the world was hesitant to embrace the technology. In recent years, however, blockchain technology has gained traction, and the world is starting to pay attention. The technology quickly shifted from its initial use in crypto-currencies and is now being implemented for use in a variety of organizations.
All over the world, blockchain has become a phenomenon, used for various purposes including the detection of counterfeits and enabling governments to store and share sensitive data securely. Governments around the globe are starting to invest heavily in the blockchain. Most government organizations were initially sceptical about using blockchain due to its relation to crypto-currencies. Today, those same entities have seen Blockchain?s potential and are interested in exploring ways they can use it to improve life for their citizens.
In Taiwan, Jason Hsu, an entrepreneur who became a legislator, is lobbying for the transformation of Taiwan into a Blockchain developers? hub. In a recent interview, Hsu said that his intention was to break barriers between legislation and technological innovation. Hsu has introduced and developed legislation related to AI, cybersecurity, autonomous vehicle management, and sandboxes.
The South Korean Government intends to invest $900 million towards developing blockchain through December 2019. They intend to collaborate with different governments to carry out Blockchain projects within government sectors such as real estate transactions, customs clearance, e-document distribution across borders, online voting and much more. The main objective is to utilize a decentralized network to improve efficiency in data sharing and transparency in government facilities.
The Netherlands is among the most receptive governments to crypto-currencies. The Dutch Government has considered using Blockchain technology in different fields, such as working with Blockchain Pilots, a FinTech company that guides institutions when trying out new projects.
By the end of 2017, The Dutch Government was testing over 30 pilot projects that included identity, tax, autonomous vehicles, and logistics. Amsterdam is also interested in offering a simpler and more efficient way to apply for a healthcare plan via blockchain. Their initiative attempted to make sure that it created a clear synopsis of authorizations in the healthcare procedure. Rotterdam is working on a blockchain procedure that will collect tourism taxes, while Eindhoven is building a case on how to use blockchain to increase the speed of land transfer processes.
Moscow City has a voters? platform based on blockchain and will be the first city to implement an e-voting system that utilizes blockchain. Each vote in the platform will be transparent and publicly available, making the voting process secure while reducing any chances of fraud or interference by third parties.
Using Blockchain will boost their voting system, which currently experiences issues such as low turnout and fraud. This will revolutionize the voting process as we know it and will serve to increase voter turnout, a primary concern for many governments around the world.
Online voting is convenient and offers an alternative that could greatly increase the number of voters for different reasons, such as election integrity and security. An electronic system powered by blockchain would mitigate the risk of election violence, especially in developing countries.
Blockchain can be of use in creating financial avenues such as development aid. The UNWFP sent cryptocurrency-based food vouchers to more than 10,000 Syrian refugees. These vouchers allowed them to buy much-needed food.
For people with no bank accounts, such as the refugees, Blockchain can serve as a bank-like avenue. Users only need a smartphone in order to easily access the money. Sending money across borders is another benefit of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
For immigrants working in various countries, the use of blockchain to remit money to their home countries is cheaper than traditional methods. This is because blockchain eliminates the need for an intermediary to send the money. This is especially true for Africa, where these international transactions are very expensive. Here, implementing blockchain technology makes it cheaper and more accessible for citizens.
Blockchain may still sound like a far-fetched idea, but the benefits are clear. When the Internet first came to be, it received the same hesitation and scepticism. It turned out to be one of the most disruptive technologies ever created, and Blockchain has the same potential for radical disruption. Once embraced, it will revolutionize all processes and make fraud nearly impossible.
Countries around the world are now starting to take notice of this technology. Many projects are underway in various public sectors such as online voting, land transfers and healthcare systems. As this trend continues over the next decade, Blockchain will become a way of life, firmly entrenched in global systems.
For more information on Blockchain Technology, be sure to check out our “Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency” article.