Why do blockchain projects have had minimal impact on the public sector so far? What are the factors that lead to success or non-success? Why is there a growing skepticism and cynicism about the use of blockchain in government?
Over the past years, blockchain has earned much attention by changing our ecosystem and the way we work, but between public sector blockchain controversies and its challenges, rarely have we heard success stories in the public sector.
To address these concerns, Juho Lindman, Associate Professor, Director of Blockchain Lab at the Gothenburg University and lead author of the recently published OECD paper on ‘The Uncertain Promise of Blockchain’ discussed his paper with experts from the blockchain field during a webinar organized by Blockchain IN Government (BLING) on 21 January 201.
Throughout his presentation, Lindman discussed the five chapters of his papers providing an overview of the current situation and an overall framework to evaluate the benefits of blockchain services, the myths about blockchain in the public sector, the blockchain project success and non-success factors, the organizational and team success approaches and his recommendations.
Following Lindman’s introduction, Andreas Hartl, Head of AI Division at the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, , Peter Verkoulen, Manager of the Dutch Blockchain Coalition, Ben Welby, Policy Analyst at the OECD’s Digital Government and Open Data Unit, and Infrachain’s Project Lead Tom Kettels shared their reflections on “The Uncertain Promise of Blockchain”.
Kettels questioned whether the blockchain promise is different for the public sector than the private sector. “We talk about transformation rather than disruption,” he explained, adding that the challenge of blockchain is less about technology than about organization and mindset . He then introduced TOKEN, a project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, explaining that “TOKEN” aims at developing an experimental ecosystem to enable the adoption of Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) as a driver for the transformation of public services towards an open and collaborative government approach. After discussing the benefits sought by TOKEN through using blockchain, notably efficiency, trustworthiness, transparency, privacy, flexibility, sustainability and cost savviness, as well as the different TOKEN PUCs, Kettels concluded by exploring the potential to disrupt in the private sector rather than in the public sector.
Infrachain previously addressed the topic of blockchain in the public sector with the Infrachain challenge 2020 where teams had 30 hours to develop an innovative project based on the Public Sector Blockchain and code a working demo.