Blockchain For A Better Government

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The way that governments keep records is inefficient, there are electronic records, and there are physical records. This can cause confusion, mistakes, and a lack of security. Moreover, these things are spread across a number of government institutions, magnifying the already glaring issues we see.

One fantastic example of how slow governments are is the DMV. If you live in the United States and own a car, then you have had to deal with them. It can literally be an all-day ordeal, and in some cases, you will need to come back because you need something else you didn't realize you needed.

However, this doesn't have to be the way that the government works in the future. Estonia is leading the charge and is becoming one of the first countries to implement blockchain into its government. Government services there are offered 24/7, and there are only two things you have to do physically. They are buying physical property like a house or a plot of land and getting married. That is it, and it is the future. Right now Dubai which is part of the UAE is also joining in and rolling out a blockchain network

How Is Dubai Doing It

In May 2019 Dubai government issued a report. It said that it was going to implement blockchain and they are starting out with mortgages. "The e-mortgage system is the latest initiative by Dubai government's real estate department to adopt blockchain, the digital ledger technology, in its administrative processes. Last year, it launched the blockchain-based Real Estate Self Transaction, or "Rest," system, intended to enable "the complete digital management of real estate transactions, eliminating paper documents and reducing brokerage procedures"

This streamlines the process for sellers, buyers, and lenders. It also eliminates the need for escrow because funds can be quickly and securely verified through the blockchain. Moreover, it holds all parties accountable because you can't tamper with the blockchain to add, hide, or change ledger items.

A division of Dubai's government that deals with technology, called Smart Dubai endorsed the blockchain platform built by one of Dubai's two telecommunication companies. "The city of Dubai has pioneered blockchain from the onset and continues to be a global leader in providing new and improved ways to implement and set the future roadmap for the evolution of this ground-breaking technology," - Smart Dubai CEO Wesam Lootah

It has also been said that Dubai's blockchain will be compatible with blockchains such as Ethereum. This is interesting because Ethereum may be in the midst of a change which will take it away from the traditional mining methods and use other methods that Solomon Lederer can explain much better than me. "Ethereum has plans to move away from mining altogether by changing the consensus algorithm from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS). PoS creates blocks based on the token holdings of the nodes rather than computational power. In addition, Ethereum plans to tackle scalability by implementing "sharding." Sharding breaks up the blockchain into many many interconnected sub-blockchains. Bitcoin currently has no such plans." -Solomon Lederer, Blockchain: A Practical Guide to Developing Business, Law, and Technology Solutions

Countries like Estonia and Dubai intend to continue leading the charge on creating better and more efficient governments. This is truly great for everyone involved because a more efficient government means that it is less of a drag on its citizens and consumes less taxpayer money. Moreover, government services are better. It is a win-win.

The Triple Entry Ledger

What is a triple entry ledger? To understand this, we first have to understand what a double entry ledger is. In accounting terms, a double entry ledger is used to describe a transaction. The two entries consist of a debit and a credit. The debit is the increase of an item such as cash, and the credit is a decrease. Now, this is something that is backed into the blockchain. Triple entry accounting is basically this, but it is a shared ledger, and the third entry is the "shared" part.

This shared ledger eliminates the need for audits and holds everyone accountable because every party involved in an activity can see it.

In government, this could be used for gathering taxes so that making payments. Because it is taxpayer money, then the involved parties are the vast majority of the nation. This holds the government accountable for where the money is going and what it is used for. We can see exactly is going to social programs like social security, unemployment, or defense.

This also limits the government's ability to fraudulently spend taxpayer money and make sure that special interest groups aren't getting more than they should.

Moreover, this streamlines the institutions and limits the need for a vast number of its employees. This, in turn, cuts down on spending and makes it so that people get a better and cheaper government.

One book that really covers this and more very well is Blockchain: A Practical Guide to Developing Business, Law, and Technology Solutions by Joseph J. Bambara, Paul R. Allen, Kedar Iyer, Rene Madsen, Solomon Lederer, and Michael Wuehler.

Conclusion

The landscape of just about everything is about to change because of blockchain. We are beginning to see how it can affect so much more than just how we complete financial transactions. It is truly an exciting time, and one I am excited to be a part of. I believe it will not be perfect, but it will certainly do more good than harm and like will all things there is no such thing as growing without growing pains.