The year before, the world produced 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and as this quantity keeps rising, the need for cutting-edge methods to preserve, secure, and validate this data has become critical. Cybercriminals hacked thousands of businesses around the world, including sections of the US government, during that year, committing one of the worst cyber-espionage events against the US. These types of intrusions into sensitive and essential data can be prevented using blockchain technology.

Governments must reinvest in ways to effectively manage data supplied by citizens as well as data created within their own networks. To accomplish so, a significant investment in blockchain technology is required. Blockchain minimises redundancies, streamlines operations, promotes auditability, and ensures stronger security protocols for data integrity due to its decentralisation combined with encryption. As a result, it is a more effective approach for governments to cut bureaucracy and reclaim citizens’ trust at big events such as elections and identification.

Blockchain implementation in the private sector

The fact that blockchain has not yet made its way into government is perplexing. Blockchain applications are already being considered or deployed in a variety of private companies. Policymakers and the blockchain community are increasingly turning to competition policy and antitrust specialists to establish a medium ground, avoiding scenarios in which individuals in charge of the blockchain engage in anticompetitive behaviour.

Blockchain has already been effectively adopted in areas of the private sector that interact with governments on a regular basis. Use cases that allow the secure flow of data between hospitals, doctors, and patients are included. In a decentralised ecosystem, healthcare organisations can have all of their patient data encrypted and unhackable thanks to blockchain. Doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, and anyone else involved in treatment can quickly access this information, speeding up the healthcare process from beginning to end.

Supply chain management is another application of blockchain in the private sector. Physical commodities can be digitised, resulting in an immutable record of all moves. Customers can know exactly where a product was sourced and its route without having to worry about third parties tampering with the data.

Solutions for government

The government’s outmoded and insecure business practices might be replaced with a speedier, more secure, and efficient system that benefits its residents. This includes anything from how governments handle identification, such as driver’s licences, to defence applications and election security implementation. Inefficiencies and a lack of communication plague day-to-day contacts with government organisations and healthcare providers. Blockchain technology can assist these agencies to close the gaps that impede them from providing adequate and timely services. The voting process is another possible application of blockchain technology in government operations. The use of blockchain technology can help to modernise and trust the voting process.

In 2019, Settlemint teamed up with the University of Indonesia to develop a blockchain-based election verification mechanism for the Indonesian elections that year. Within hours of voting stations closing, the technology was able to validate 25 million ballots — significantly faster than the official results, which were made public weeks later.

Finally, blockchain technologies would allow the government to function in a more secure and efficient manner while providing citizens greater confidence in the security of their personal information. There would be no disruptive shift in citizens’ daily life in the ideal case, and instead, the transition would be considerably more passive. Because the services they use will be decentralised, personal data will be breached less frequently, making interactions with government agencies and services more streamlined.