Open Data & Blockchain
The past few years have seen increasing interest in blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Blockchain can help solve challenges in data privacy and security and offer other benefits for publishing and using open government data. Here are several resources for exploring this technology’s public potential.
The Emerging Citizen Technology Office at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is focusing on blockchain as one of its priorities, and is assembling use cases from the federal government. GSA notes a wide variety of data types, many of them open government data, that can be managed more effectively using blockchain, including financial management data, procurement and contracting data, patents, trademarks, and copyrights, foreign aid, federal personnel workforce data, and appropriated funds.
This short presentation from U.S. Department of Justice federal prosecutor Kathryn Haun offers early examples of how the U.S. government is using blockchain to fight fraud. In 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury piloted the use of blockchain for federal financial management and published guidance on the agency use of blockchain.
Several technology companies, consulting firms, and academic institutions have also published useful resources and reports on the uses of blockchain in government. These include:
An article from McKinsey & Company on “Using blockchain to improve data management in the public sector,” which describes how “government agencies can use this digital ledger technology to protect trusted records and simplify interactions with citizens.”
This IBM paper on Building Trust in Government: Exploring the Potentials of Blockchain describes how governments can use blockchain for regulatory compliance, contract management, identity management, and citizen services.
The GovLab at New York University has published a list of annotated readings on Blockchain Technology and its Potential for Transforming Governance.
The use of blockchain for public goals is evolving rapidly. Please comment on this post to add insights, ideas, and other sources.