Digital Government: Research and Practice

Blockchains for Government: Use Cases and Challenges

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Blockchain is the technology used by developers of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, to enable exchange of financial “coins” between participants in the absence of a trusted third party to ensure the transaction, such as is typically done by governments. Blockchain has evolved to become a generic approach to store and process data in a highly decentralized and secure way. In this article, we review blockchain concepts and use cases, and discuss the challenges in using them from a governmental viewpoint. We begin with reviewing the categories of blockchains, the underlying mechanisms, and why blockchains can achieve their security goals. We then review existing known governmental use cases by regions. To show both technical and deployment details of blockchain adoption, we study a few representative use cases in the domains of healthcare and energy infrastructures. Finally, the review of both technical details and use cases helps us summarize the adoption and technical challenges of blockchains.



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