Scottish Government Considers Using Blockchain and DLT for Public Services

BTC WiresThe government of Scotland is considering use of blockchain in public services as reflected in its recent report highlighting pros of using blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in public services. The report reflected the government’s opinion that blockchain has the potential for creating opportunities of growth on services that are “natively  digital” and beyond. Blockchain could play a role in linking various parts of the public sector safely and speedily, and the research carried out by the Wallet Services for Scottish Government Digital Directorate indicates that the public sector could benefit from building a global DLT ecosystem and connecting public sector projects.

This report suggested conducting more studies to evaluate blockchain’s ability to support and work with the newest General Data Protection Regulation without subverting it. It observed that DLT leaves the question of data processing and ownership vague when used with citizen data. There are even certain blockchain applications that allow for “privacy by design” credits and enable the data subject to control access to it.

The report has thus put forward five broad suggestion including commissioning a group of experts to figure out a direction as to the implementation of blockchain in improving national economy.

Accordingly, the report submitted five broad recommendations such as enabling a group comprised of experts from the Scottish DLT community to build a direction on how the technology could be utilized to improve the national economy. It further calls upon the government to encourage the use of these technology by using avenues such as the CivTech programme or the University of Edinburgh’s AI and blockchain accelerator.

Finally, the report also suggested making a group of public sector leaders for exploring use of blockchain for providing solutions to shared issues. The recommended group should be given a budget and a knowledge base of examples of international adoption of DLT.

At the same time, analytical firms such as DAG Global, Deep Knowledge and Big Innovation Centre published a report in July 2018, indicating that UK is about to become an internationally acclaimed blockchain hub over the course of coming years, having all the resources to achieve its set goals.