Governments around the world have had their operations flung into the spotlight as of late due to increased scrutiny by citizens. People around the world demand more from their leaders and many have even taken to the streets in protest. So why are so many people upset and is there any way to prevent these situations in the future?
Thankfully, the innovative developers of the blockchain industry believe they have some solutions to the problems ailing many governments across the globe. These developers believe that blockchain technology can reduce inefficiencies and provide a more inclusive and secure way of governing people. Here’s how blockchain technology could improve government.
An Inefficient System
The truth of the matter is that the governments of the world are inefficient. They rely on systems and protocols that are outdated and in many instances, simply done for show or tradition. Billions get wasted just operating these behemoth organizations. As such, the people are eager for a better solution to the status quo.
These systems were created before the digital era. As such, they don’t leverage technology to streamline critical processes or add accountability. When viewed from today’s perspective, these systems look built to avoid transparency on purpose. A blockchain-based alternative could provide major benefits for all parties.
Corruption is a major problem in today’s financial system. From the top down, the market has been compartmentalized with the best earning opportunities tucked away for the elites while regular citizens are forced to work long hours for low pay just to make ends meet. Multiple major government scandals occurred throughout 2022. It’s safe to assume this year will follow suit.
Blockchain technology could help to reduce corruption by improving transparency within these groups. Blockchain tech can monitor huge amounts of data and provide immutable records of transactions and other vital information. Unlike the current system, where citizens are left out of the conversation, blockchain-based governmental systems could enable anyone to monitor spending and other important developments.
Blockchain networks utilize decentralization to ensure they remain immutable. The fact that governments would be unable to alter these records without the people noticing is enough to demonstrate just how beneficial integrating these technologies could be for all parties.
Imagine begin able to pull up all the contracts your local government awarded without requiring any other parties’ assistance. It would be easy to notice patterns and other tell-tales that government officials are showing favor or acting inappropriately. Best of all, this data is available in near real-time. No more finding out about scandals years later.
Voting is another area in which blockchain integration would be ideal for all parties. Blockchain networks can gather and calculate huge swaths of data quickly. Using consensus, the network can register data from all nodes simultaneously. The use of a blockchain voting system would eliminate the need for human counters. This saves taxpayer dollars.
Additionally, the records of the vote would remain immutable. Its become increasingly common for politicians and citizens to question the results of an election. The fact that the systems in use today do not provide an open way for anyone to confirm the voting progress makes them ideal for questioning.
Additionally, whenever you have centralization when dealing with community voting, there is a big risk of abuse. There are multiple times in which a politician cast doubt on election results. Sadly, all of their points are usually difficult to confirm or deny due to the structure of the centralized voting systems in place today.
Do you know how much your local government spends on roads, security, events, and pay? For most people, the answer to this question is a hard “no.” Unless you are versed with government protocols, even finding the answers to these questions can be a daunting task that could require in-person visits to research records only kept on paper at a single location.
The government has a history of frivolous spending with little to no oversight. This scenario becomes more common when discussing military spending. With the average person unable to see how much funding the government spends, there is no way for them to tell if the government is practicing responsible monetary policy or blowing money with no regard.
A blockchain-based monitoring system could alert the community to every penny their local and federal government spends. They could see in real-time what expenses are draining the coffers and what maneuvers helped to drive profits for the community. Even more impressive is the fact that citizens could vote on what expenses to approve as they came up. In the end, the community could regain control over spending via consensus.
Raising Funds for Projects
Along the same line of thought is using blockchain systems to raise funds for projects. Government fundraising is hugely inefficient. It’s expensive to host these campaigns and in many instances, the projects never get the proper representation to the community.
Blockchain technology is great for streamlining crowdfunding efforts. You could see a time shortly when people can put forth funds via liquidity pools to get community initiatives off the ground. Blockchain tech revolutionized fundraising for startups by reducing the cost of hosting events, lowering the basic user entry-level, and improving accountability. It’s now poised to bring these benefits to your local government.
Building Community Wealth
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have proven to be a better store of value than fiat currencies. In comparison, Bitcoin has gone from $0.50 to its current price of +$40,000 and higher in just 13 years. In comparison, the value of the USD has steadily declined over the same time. Sadly, this inflation has gone into overdrive as of late due to the printing of billions in stimulus funding.
Countries like El Salvador, which legalized Bitcoin last year and began stacking sats, demonstrate that real profits can be made using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a reserve currency. Notably, there are projects today like the META 1 Coin that lock in the value of their token using smart contracts, making them a great store of value coins. It’s easy to envision a country not only embracing cryptocurrencies but also taking their community funds and growing the wealth via low-risk DeFi features like staking and farming pools.
One of the biggest areas that could see immediate blockchain integration is in the record-keeping departments. Currently, the government relies on a variety of different databases and technologies to keep records. The same goes for businesses and professionals. Having a single location where someone could validate a person’s credentials and avoid scammers could be a major upgrade for everyone.
A blockchain-based system would prove secure storage of government, citizen, and business data in a distributed ledger format. This strategy would improve efficiency, lower costs, and ensure the records are original. This system could become a vital way that people to validate professional credentials.
Sadly, it’s becoming more common for public officials to lie about their accolades and academic history, In a recent example, Senator George Santos admitted he fabricated multiple parts of his resume to secure his election. He lied about his past work experience and even his college education. A blockchain-based credential system could have prevented these lies from going under the radar
A system such as this could help increase trust in government and online civil systems. The average citizen would gain the ability to quickly verify records without any confusion. This approach would also introduce a host of other benefits that would drive efficiency to new heights.
Reduce Labor Associated
Running a government is a very labor-intensive process. It requires thousands of people handling simultaneous tasks to accomplish. In the past, these systems required humans to operate them. However, technology has caught up to these systems and surpassed them. Today, several blockchain-based systems could lead to a reduction of labor-intensive processes.
For example, did you know that there are still many areas of the world that count votes manually? A blockchain-based voting system would provide instant results that could be seen by anyone. It would eliminate delays that can lead to fraud and loss of trust in the system.
Lower Operating Costs
Alongside all of the labor it takes to run a government comes a variety of costs. It’s not cheap running a government and as the nation expands its role and oversight, the costs continue to rise. Remember, this is not the same size government that your grandparents dealt with. Today’s governments are massive businesses that have thousands of more employees than your grandparents operations.
Each of these new employees has costs associated with them. From supplies to management costs, they all add to the overhead of running a country. A blockchain-based system could eliminate many of these positions which would improve efficiency, transparency, and lower operating costs.
Smart Cities Support
Another way in which you could be seeing some blockchain governance systems integrated is through the introduction of smart cities. There are now more areas of the world leaning towards the smart city format. A smart city is a metropolis that leverages advanced technologies to integrate and manage physical, social, and business infrastructures.
First Smart City
The first smart city was launched in 2014 in Seoul, South Korea. The city launched a campaign to commemorate and integrate the monumental move to the digital landscape. The city leverages sensors and data to provide more efficiency and lower costs. Today, Helsinki and Zurich in Singapore are considered the premier smart cities in the world.
Smart cities leverage items like contactless payment systems and hi-tech public transport. These regions also integrate digital healthcare systems that enable citizens to get video consultations and more. At the core of these cities is IoT (Internet of Things) and blockchain technology.
IoT and Blockchain
Every smart device falls into the IoT category. As such, there are already billions of these sensors around the world. Specifically, a device becomes smart when it gains sensors and the ability to communicate data to and from the internet. Analysts predict there will be tens of billions of these devices in operation in the coming years.
IoT tech makes it simple to monitor massive networks and cities. However, it’s blockchain technology that enables users to gain consensus on such huge amounts of data in near real-time. As such, the two techs work hand-in-hand to bring cities into the future and provide real-time data to officials.
Optimal Utilization of available resources.
Another major plus that blockchain tech brings to the government is the optimized use of resources. There’s a finite amount of resources in these regions. From water to oil, every area has its resources that need to be properly managed to avoid losses and future disasters.
Blockchain monitoring systems would provide a new layer of transparency and even empower new technologies. There are already blockchain-based solar power-sharing systems that enable users to sell their unused electricity to others on the grid. Systems like this will continue to spring up as resources become more finite and more valuable.
Government Health Use Cases
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns put a spotlight on government health capabilities. As nations around the world attempted to reign in their citizens and roll out vaccines, it became obvious that the government lacked proper health tracking capabilities. They needed to quickly devise a vaccine tracking system and more.
Blockchain-based health records are already in use in many areas of the world. These systems provide instant access and verifiability to the average person or employer. They can also help emergency crews and rescue workers as all of a person’s personal information could be accessed and verified in a life-and-death scenario.
A Crypto Government is Around the Corner
Even though governments around the world are pushing their tokens called CBDC (central bank digital currencies) there is still plenty of room for open blockchain systems. These protocols could help to improve the community’s ability to track and monitor their public officials. As such, you can expect to see more citizens push for the integration of this technology moving forward.