Blockchain technology can serve governments as well as businesses and the public
Blockchain technology can bring as many benefits to governments as it does to businesses and the general public. If used correctly, it can be deployed to improve services and streamline processes in a way that is fairer, more transparent and more accountable to all stakeholders.
BSV Blockchain Association’s Global Public Policy Director Bryan Daugherty commented in a piece for the UK’s Evening Standard as a preview for the London Blockchain Conference, which starts next week. He highlighted the use of automated smart contracts in service delivery and solidifying regulatory frameworks, processes that leave an auditable data trail that is difficult to manipulate.
These benefits can only be realized if a blockchain provides a single, universal stream of truth that earns the trust of its users. Therefore, the blockchain network must be secure and operate on basic protocol rules that do not change. It must also be able to scale to handle the large amounts of data it must process. Running on Bitcoin’s original protocol rules, Bitcoin SV (BSV) is the only existing blockchain that combines these conditions with a 14-year performance history. It has the ability to scale without limits, meeting the requirements of government, businesses, finance and everyday users.
Understand what blockchain is really for
Historically, there has been an excessive focus on speculative price trading of digital assets, which mostly have little utility in the economy. The media reports on the glitz and extravagance during sudden bull runs and losses when naive investors lose their savings to equally sudden price drops or ancient financial scams that have resurfaced in blockchain’s less regulated environment.
Both of these situations have caused governments, regulators and central banks to view blockchain with suspicion or potentially even a threat to national security. In fact, blockchain should be the exact opposite of that. The key to changing this perception is a better understanding of what blockchain actually is and how it works. This will encourage more responsible development of applications that stabilize, rather than destabilize, large-scale data-based operations.
What are these applications? The Evening Standard article first refers to elections. Existing digital voice networks are controversial and do not enjoy the full confidence of the public. Again, a lack of transparency, understanding and enforcement of rules creates this distrust. Blockchain’s tamper-proof processes will leave a verifiable trail of all votes and can be delivered in a way that verifies who has voted without revealing information about their identity. Voters can have unique private keys that verify their votes through blockchain transactions, guaranteeing that their vote is legal and valid in a far more private and reliable way than paper-based postal voting.
Other applications are public procurement processes and tenders, registrations including property rights and land registers, environmental and financial regulations, agricultural management and dispute resolution. An open blockchain operates on standards that allow external systems to interact with it, collect data from billions of cheap Internet of Things (IoT) devices and provide a clear overview of what is happening.
All transactions on a scalable blockchain like BSV are recorded and publicly visible, although specific data in those transactions remains encrypted and confidential. These records are permanent and cannot be changed, and any attempt to change them will be noticed and recorded.
Even digital IDs and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), concepts that are often false among privacy and liberty advocates and critics of current government operations, can be implemented with confidence if blockchain’s universal layer of truth and confidentiality features are widely trusted.
Experiments are good, but we need more
Daugherty notes that countries such as Estonia, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Georgia and Sweden have pioneered their experiments in using blockchain technology. These have included everything from healthcare and legislative processes to property and financial transactions. Although these experiments have recognized efficiency gains, so far they have occurred on many different blockchains and some consensus networks that are not blockchains at all, meaning there is no consensus among users or the public about how much they can be trusted.
The need to recognize a single, reliable and capable blockchain is as important as understanding how blockchains work, and a better understanding is key to achieving this trust. To realize blockchain’s full potential, governments must look beyond the shallow marketing hype that blockchain advocates peddle specific features and determine which ones have the best properties to improve efficiency and security overall. In this way, blockchain can serve government regulatory efforts rather than appear to skirt around them by making them more efficient and accountable.
The London Blockchain Conference runs from 31 May to 2 June 2023 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre. Tickets for the physical event or virtual attendance are available here.
See: Blockchain Has the Power to Free Humanity
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