9 July, 2018
In a report titled “Unlocking Blockchain,” released in the United Kingdom last week by housing minister Eddie Hughes, the government is encouraged to make blockchain technology a higher priority.
Published by Freer, a think tank associated with the British Tory party, the report provides a list of ways that using blockchain can help “show leadership,” and points to state projects in Estonia as an example. According to the report, 99 percent of government services in Estonia are completed through a system called X-Road, which is backed by blockchain technology. Over 900 organizations use X-Road and this automation saves the country approximately 820 years of working time annually.
“The state should focus its attention on using blockchain to enable social freedom, to increase efficiency, and to rebuild societal trust,” said Hughes.
Hughes’ proposals included a blockchain competition to encourage developers to participate in the growing innovation in the field, as well as a developmental target backed by the UK government that would, in time, create a 1% efficiency across government departments via the use of blockchain technology.
This 1% efficiency, representing £8 billion in savings, would be achieved by having a Chief Blockchain Officer oversee the application of blockchain within the government’s public services databases.
Hughes also calls on the implementation of blockchain technology to take care of the “trust deficit” that has been an issue for the UK government since the 2008 financial crisis and other government scandals and misuses of power in recent years. He believes blockchain can bring the level of transparency needed to regain the trust of the people:
“Blockchain provides traceability and clear provenance. The blockchain holds all of the data from the start of the transaction, so the full history of any asset that is on the ledger can be known. There is no need to audit vast amounts of data, as the blockchain itself is the audit trail.”
In addition, Hughes noted that blockchain technology can be used across a wide range of industries. From banking to retail, the applications are extensive. The technology can also reduce carbon emissions by cutting back on paper usage alone.
British Prime Minister Theresa May recommended that a digital copy of the blockchain report be sent to every member of Parliament for their consideration.
Image via Pixabay.