Blockchain Digital Government – Use cases

Developing a blueprint for public sector Blockchain platforms

As CoinTelegraph reports government bodies like the Riyadh Municipality are pioneering the adoption of Blockchain for next generation Digital Government services.

Dinar Duham explores how Blockchain can help Government.

The Scottish Common Blockchain

We can think of deploying this technology in a form such that it operates as a public utility, like power and water.

As Business for Scotland writes, this can be described as a ‘Common Blockchain Platform’, a public utility that enables everything from secure digital voting through our own digital currencies.

The Scottish Common Blockchain would also enable secure online voting and encourage democratic participation amongst the young. Just as postal voting helps old folks vote, secure instant mobile voting will encourage younger generations to have their voice heard. If young people aged 16-25 voted as often as those over 50 then everything would change.

Our Blockchain Blueprint will define the technical architecture design for implementing this Common Blockchain, with an ongoing series of use case scenarios exploring the detail of how this could be implemented.

From smarter smart cities through verifying crime evidence and enhanced food traceability there are a multitude of possibilities, as IDC shares via this webinar and Jonathan Reichental highlights in his tweet:

Use Case Scenario: Land Registries

Use cases will be examined in detail, such as Land Registries. Given the Blockchain is fundamentally a registry system then naturally this is a very fertile area for its application, although there are of course counter views – For example on Linkedin Dominic Wilson argues they aren’t enough.

As Anglia Research describes it is specifically intended as a ledger system for enabling and recording asset transfers, and CoinDesk provides this detailed examination of the use case, highlighting how one aspect of natural disasters is the potential loss of all paper based versions of these records, avoidable through encoding them on the Blockchain.

A number of countries are already blazing a trail in this area, including the UK, Sweden and Georgia each trialing implementations at different stages; it’s estimated the Swedish adoption could save taxpayers €100m. Kenya is pioneering the use of blockchain technology to streamline land ownership.

HM Land Registry

In the UK the HM Land Registry details an exemplar case study for the overall digital transformation context for the adoption of the technology. They have kicked off a £2m experiment to begin prototyping adoption.

This enabling role of new digital service innovations is effectively highlighted in their digital business plan, in which they state a goal of becoming a world pioneer in the use of Blockchain and also key related technologies notably Digital Identity:

“We will continue to enhance and expand our existing e-enabled services, such as our innovative Digital Mortgage service that uses secure identity assurance techniques to enable a customer to sign their mortgage deed digitally. Across all stages of digital service development, the needs of the user and a drive for speed and simplicity will be at the heart of our design.

we will launch a Developer service to provide a digital online lodgement and approval of estate plans and template leases and transfers.

we will launch a Digital Transfer service to create, sign and register a transfer of a registered title.”

In this PropertySolvers article the author explores the scenario, in particular noting the HM Land Registry ambitions:

“Graham Farrant, chief executive and chief land registrar at the HMLR reported on testing the Sign Your Mortgage Deed service for remortgaging homeowners. The mortgage deed will be produced and signed as part of a largely disintermediated digital conveyance process legitimately recorded at the Land Registry. Identity assurance will be provided by the GOV.UK Verify service.”

This combination of technologies is key. Blockchain can play a role in reducing property fraud, further strengthened through Identity enabling secured Digital Mortgages.

Digital Street 2030

This all culminates towards their pinnacle digital initiative ‘Digital Street’, “groundbreaking research that is exploring how land registration might work in 2030”, and is also how they express their highest stretch target of pioneering a world-class capability:

We will then apply real-life scenarios to demonstrate how a fully geospatially enabled digital register might revolutionise future property transactions, including using Blockchain technology, putting HM Land Registry at the forefront of global land registration innovation.

Digital Street is a new prototype registry that will enable this new real-time, machine-readable information platform. The goals are to harness AI and other emergent tech and apply them towards impacts like improving the conveyancing process. Here is where they see the potential for Blockchain in particular:

New technologies such as Blockchain might enable the register to be distributed among trusted parties such as lenders and conveyancers, giving them the ability to operate and update in a secure and tamper-proof manner. We will explore the benefits of this alternative approach to managing a digital land register.

As they touch on the key to envisaging transformative applications of these technologies is to consider the broader ecosystem of multiple organizations, and how they collaborate to form an overall value chain.

As the PropertySolvers article describes about Digital Mortgages “the mortgage deed will be produced and signed as part of a largely disintermediated digital conveyance process“.

Other perspectives on to this transformed supply chain can be seen through the the evolution of e-conveyancing from the lawyers view, what the benefits for property letting agents could be, and Three Ways it could transform real estate.

 

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