All exıstıng e-Government systems are specialized websites that provide services for individuals and legal entities. However, blockchain technology offers a unique new opportunity for a single, unified e-Government, that will almost totally remove paper-work.
Digital transformations remain some of the key factors for world economic growth. According to estimates by the McKinsey Global Institute, up to 22% China’s GDP growth will be driven by internet technologies. The expected growth from digital technologies in the USA is no less impressive,e and may reach 1.6–2.2 trillion US dollars by 2025.
The State sector is a complex and sluggish area which retains a centralized system. Its development determines management efficiency and the availability of public services for citizens and entrepreneurs.
State machinery is often fragmented and almost always uncoordinated, which complicates the exchange of information between different departments and institutions. Quite often intermediaries in the public services supply-chain are unknown to service recipients. Departments communicate with each other via the ‘back-end’.
Estonia managed to save 2% of its GDP by delivering public services digitally and removing hard copies.
In developing countries, ownership of land is still poorly documented, and thus owners often cannot sell, take secured loans, or perform other operations. People suffer from abuse by government departments staff.
In Georgia, almost 200 thousand records of rights-to-land-plots are stored in a blockchain system which is both protected from unauthorized access, but at the same time anyone can view all records
Developed countries are improving operational processes, significantly reducing the time of transactions. These can take several months which is needed to reduce the risk of fraud and error in documents and transaction (transfer of rights, for example). Making the process and system quicker and more reliable improves a country's image and attractiveness for business and investment.
Corruption is a serious problem in countries where anyone can change the public record in the state register, if paid enough. This problem can be solved by blockchain technology.
The openness and transparency of a blockchain can help to restore confidence in State authority.
For e-Government, the obvious and key benefit of a blockchain, compared to standard databases, is protecting information from falsification.
According to the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) report "Building Trust in Government" (2017, January) " In 2018, 9 out of 10 country leaders expect to invest in the development of blockchain solutions in the fields of financial transactions, asset management, contract management and compliance ".
This means that it will be almost impossible to change the data about citizens, real estate, companies, certificates, diplomas, property rights, etc. after they are recorded in the public blockchain registers.
The key consequence of this reliability is the ability to use data registers as fully-fledged legal documents: entry in the blockchain register becomes more authentic than any signed and sealed paper, and is still available anywhere and at any time.
The second big advantage of blockchain platforms for building e-Government is the ability to use smart contracts to automate data operations.
If blockchain registers contain a valid entry on, let’s say property, the mechanism to transfer this property, and indeed, entries about the new owner in the register, can be charged to a special programme called a smart contract.
The use of a blockchain can bring the concept of e-government to a new level. We should talk, not just about the convenience of delivering services to citizens and business, but also about reformation of the state’s activities and its full immersion into the digital ecosystem of blockchain.
Publishing public information deserves a special mention – blockchain gives all interested parties, including representatives of the private and corporate sectors, the opportunity to get online access to various data sets, such as geospatial data, public institution budgets, procurement information, and lists of registered companies.
For example, in Australia there is a rule that all information not constituting a state secret or considered personal data is open access by default.
How it works today:
Various public authorities around the world have declared their intention to explore and implement this technology. In Russia, we will see blockchain-based patents, and blockchain-powered alcohol stocktaking. France has already approved blockchain for trading valuable securities. Meanwhile South Korea is testing a blockchain for electricity sales.
A blockchain can be applied to almost every field of economic and social life, and will fundamentally change the current understanding of basic concepts like trust or ownership.