Much is said about blockchain technology or distributed ledger. Who cares for personal investments assesses whether it is worth investing in bitcoins and who likes technology accompanies the evolution of crypto-coins. Governments, on the other hand, try to regulate and tax them.
The financial market is very interested in this subject, but distributed ledgers have other potential and several sectors of the economy have considered exploring distributed ledger networks.
The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project aims to support a wide range of business cases. There are working groups focused on the financial sector, health, and identities. Within this perspective the public administration is an industry that has followed the evolution of the blockchain. And with an emphasis on this sector, it would be possible to tour the world.
Starting with Oceania. An Australian government report released in January, talking about the agenda for modernizing its business transactions, says emerging technologies, such as blockchain, improve risk assessment and revenue collection capabilities. The report also describes that the Department of Internal Affairs (DOI) is evaluating how to raise information held in a blockchain for trade, because within the context of international trade, the blockchain reduces the amount of documentation and gives more visibility in real time, improving the information available for risk analysis, increasing security and efficiency in border inspections.
Going northwest in Asia, there is the Ubin Project. The monetary authority in Singapore has challenged itself to use blockchain technology that allows entities from different jurisdictions to make payments among themselves, without intermediaries, resulting in greater speed and efficiency and with lower risks and costs.
Moving eastwards, Ghana would be an African affair. A pilot project with 28 communities in Kumasi, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, wants to demonstrate how a public blockchain can make land titling available to the population. This is intended to reduce Ghana’s chronic problem of land disputes.
Moving up north, the Netherlands is associating Internet of Things with blockchain to reduce bicycle thefts, a means of transport so popular in the country. Smart lockers have real-time location and status updates on the network. If there is a theft, the owner of the bicycle registers the occurrence in the blockchain and both the police and the insurance company are notified, since they are also part of this network. With the validation of the police, following the smart contract of blockchain, the insurer checks if the owner of the bicycle is eligible for compensation.
Going east, in the United States, there is another case. Citizens of the state of Illinois will have their identities registered in the blockchain by the birth registration process. The public administration will verify citizens’ information requiring encrypted access to the data. This will reduce the need for different bodies to create and maintain their own database.
When descending to Latin America, finally, a Brazilian case. The municipality of Pelotas, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, has a pilot project for real estate registration. Although further examination of the solution is still required, this pilot will provide safer transactions, greater efficiency, and reduced friction in real estate transactions.
Certainly much is yet to come. As the cited projects (and so many others not mentioned) will develop, there will be more basis for assessing how technology is changing data management as we know it today.
- written by Breno Neves de Arruda Santos