The Scottish Government is one of the latest public institutions to join a growing list of governments around the world that are investigating the benefits of putting public services on the blockchain. In an official report titled “Distributed Ledger Technologies in Public Services”, the authorities would accept that blockchain be leveraged for social services to enhance efficiency for citizens.
The research, which was conducted by blockchain development specialist Wallet Services for the Scottish Government Digital Directorate, recommends that the country should work with the global blockchain ecosystem to develop a national vision and launch impactful small-scale public sector projects.
The report was assembled after conducting interviews with C-level officials across Scotland’s public sector and from surveying representatives of universities, SME’s and larger companies.
The report gave five important recommendations like forming a group of experts involved in the Scottish blockchain technology community to identify the best ways the technology can be implemented in the social services sector as well as to strengthen the economy of the country.
It also proposes taking steps to capture applicable skills and knowledge around “fundamental disruptive technologies”, particularly in the public sector, as well as combining efforts with other major economies to explore how distributed ledger technology (DLT) can best be used.
Next, it advises the Scottish Government to look into promoting blockchain use cases in public institutions through channels such as the CivTech programme, the recently launched University of Edinburg’s AI and blockchain accelerator and the CodeClan digital skills academy.
Lastly, the report suggests that a group of public sector leaders be formed to come up with ways blockchain could be applied to address common societal problems. This formed group should be provided with a budget to finance proof of concept projects and knowledge-gaining activities. They will also be involved with bringing forward models of how the international community is integrating blockchain technology into their IT systems.
The report points to the healthcare as a possible area of application, where DLT can be implemented to develop a highly secure platform for sharing and managing patient’s data and other sensitive personal information.
These initiatives would follow recent public sector blockchain projects happening in the region including the one from the Britain’s tax office HM & Customs (HMRC) which built a blockchain proof of concept for border controls last year to better manage coordination between different departments at the border.