Four Brazilian-based financial regulatory bodies are now working together to develop an anti-corruption blockchain platform for screening and performing background checks on political representatives and corporations.
This anti-corruption blockchain initiative is known as PIER and will function as a data-sharing platform for fighting corruption and improving transparency. The merits of the PIER system have even attracted the Brazilian government, which now seeks to leverage PIER in other areas, including the country’s judiciary, trade boards, and international financial bodies.
PIER: Brazil’s Anti-Corruption Blockchain Platform
Anti-Corruption Blockchain platform, PIER is an initiative birthed by Brazil’s central bank; Banco Central do Brasil (BCB). The BCB, the Brazilian private insurance superintendent, and the local securities regulator were some of the first participants of this system. They helped inform its database in the early stage of its development. PIER is described by the deputy head of the BCB’s financial system organization department, Daniel Bichuette, as a vehicle used for inter-departmental data, “drastically reducing” the time required to assess the financial background of an entity.
According to him:
…by leveraging the PIER database, institutions can easily access data “from punitive processes and restrictions from companies and administrators” as well as a person/organization’s “history of performance in the financial system.” This data will also include management competence, technical capabilities, and “information on the participation of individuals and legal entities in the share capital and shareholding control.”
The partnerships related to the PIER project have been described by the executive secretary of the central bank, Adalberto Felinto da Cruz Júnior, as a “particularly fruitful” venture that has created an opportunity to foster “important synergies” amongst the participating regulatory institutions. The idea for PIER was unveiled in 2018 by the Brazilian central bank. The program has undergone rapid progress over two years partly because the developers utilized the tested and trusted blockchain technology instead of creating a new database platform from scratch.
Blockchain: The Corruption Antidote
When it comes to technology, blockchain has grown to become the face of transparency, a lacking feature in many bureaucratic settings around the world that allows for corruption and fraud to thrive. Blockchain is also known as a distributed ledger, a decentralized database capable of authenticating records and transactions in such a way that the data stored on this platform cannot be modified or erased.
This immutability of the blockchain prevents bad actors from making fraudulent transactions and attempting to cover up their tracks by altering data records. Blockchain transactions also leave a data trail allowing for traceability, a feature that can be extremely useful for law enforcement to trace suspicious contracts. These blockchain capabilities could potentially make essential government functions like verification of identity, asset registration, and transaction certification significantly easier.
A blockchain system integrated into government could completely alter the backbone of bureaucratic operations giving rise to a much more efficient and transparent government. Blockchain integration not only discourages corruption but also makes it easier to stop it in its tracks. In a world of declining trust in government and large corporations, the need for a platform that enforces trust cannot be overstated. Blockchain could very well be the arbiter of truth in government as it’s uniquely suited to play this role effectively.