Blockchain-Enabled Digital Government: A National Blueprint

Blockchain-Enabled Services Architecture

A keystone foundation for modern Digital Government services will be the definition of a Blockchain-based design model for enabling secure data sharing between government agencies, as Professor Bill Buchanan introduces in his guest article.

The fabric for integrating multiple legacy systems into a Single Citizen Account will be formed through Identity-centric data exchanges, transactions made up of ‘attestations’ of identity data fragments that validate certain requirements as ‘proofs’, for example ‘This person is over 18’. This segments off privacy – Their age or date of birth isn’t revealed, but the reason for asking is provided with a positive response so the process can continue.

The different roles that government agencies will play in this ecosystem is evident when you consider the role critical documents play in our lives and how we interact with organizations: Our passports, driving licences and birth certificates are all documents used in validation procedures, the trust in that document setting that trust level for the remainder of the process that relys on that proof.

As this validation is increasingly digitized so other systems of trust can be built atop them, leveraging technologies like Smart Contracts to instantiate these various granular permission-enabling dynamics.

Identity Assurance programs like Verify already go some way to catering for the Identity attribute data exchange, and the introduction of Blockchain methods and technologies will add an expanded dimension of capability to the mix, with a particular emphasis on where the strengths of the technology most apply, notably contracting and ledger keeping.

eGov Innovation explores how governments are using the Blockchain for a variety of their digital services, such as welfare and bank payments, land registries, eHealth records and more. MIT describes more details on these implementations and how they will enable better public services, with Government Technology defining it as the next transformational technology, for the public sector, a scenario that TechCrunch also explores.

As a ledger system the Blockchain is particularly ideal for all scenarios requiring integrous record keeping, for example the ScotGov plan defines use cases such as:

Enable the digital recording of evidence, reports, decisions and judgements throughout our justice system and a digital platform to store all information relevant to a case or individual in one secure location.


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