The adoption of blockchain-enabled services is a key part of a wider transition to the next generation of innovative government services. This once in a generation shift requires more than technology and technological change – it requires policy, legal, and capacity development at local, regional and national levels.
Blockchain is a key enabling technology that will underpin efforts to deliver innovative services under the Digital Agenda for Europe. Blockchain promotes user trust by making it possible to build systems that share information and record transactions in a verifiable, secure, permanent,and manageable way. Based on a ‘distributed ledger’, blocks of information arechained together with cryptography to produce a system that stores, manages, and verifies both information and access to information.
Blockchain-enabled systems will allow governments to deliver a range of new solutions and service designs that have the potential to redefine the relationship between governments, citizens and SMEs.
Blockchain-enabled systems have the potential to transform how citizens, governments, and organisations work together – developing tools to increase transparency, enable trust, and giving citizens, control over how and where their data is used.
When should you use Blockchain?
BlockchainLab Drenthe uses three ground rules in order to determine if a problem could be solved using Blockchain and/or Distributed Ledger technology:
Rule 1: Multiple organisations/parties must be working with each other
Rule 2: These parties can’t fully trust each other (e.g. they may use incompatible management systems and can’t share information easily)
Rule 3: There may be an incentive for one party to “cheat” (i.e. one party can gain some form of advantage due to gaps in information sharing)
The advantage of a rules based framework
The great strength of these three simple rules is that they provide a framework to quickly identify projects whose needs don’t align with the particular strengths of blockchain.
As part of a wider review of internal processes Roeselare identified their Leisure Pass service as one where a blockchain solution might be appropriate. The review of their service identified that it was:
- delivered by multiple organisations, where
- individual service providers kept their own records of Leisure Pass usage, and
- there was no way to confirm Leisure Pass usage information.
So the three rule tes tindicates that in this case it’s worth looking at whether a blockchain-enabled process can address these concerns.