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The Turkish government has announced plans to establish a national blockchain infrastructure to utilize distributed ledger technology (DLT) in public administration.

The Ministry of Industry and Technology set out its vision during its Strategy 2023 presentation on Sept. 18 in Ankara.

Strategy 2023 emphasizes blockchain and DLT as priorities for the coming year. The document refers to a Startup Genome survey that marks blockchain as one of the fastest-growing tech trends, with a 101.5% increase in early stage startup funding globally.

Regulatory sandbox for blockchain is coming

The Strategy 2023 document says a new open-source platform for blockchain will be established in Turkey. This initiative will analyze different use cases such as land registration, academic certificates and customs to determine potential public sector applications.

The Ministry of Industry and Technology is also planning to work with Turkish regulators to create a regulatory sandbox for blockchain applications.

Turkish government uses the B-word

As Cointelegraph Turkish reported today, Strategy 2023 is the first ministry-level document in Turkey to include the word “Bitcoin” (BTC) as a reference. Turkey released an economic roadmap in July that describes a central bank-issued digital currency, but did not mention Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. Strategy 2023 also provides this definition of blockchain technology:

“Blockchain, which became popular with virtual currencies like Bitcoin, delivers a distributed communication infrastructure to provide trust between parties on transactions without the need for a central authority. This feature enables many different use cases that address transparency and reliability issues, from smart contracts to supply chains. Because it removes any intermediaries, blockchain technology builds new business models that will shape the future.”

Turkish institutions have been embracing blockchain technology in various spheres. In August, the Istanbul Blockchain and Innovation Center (BlockchainIST Center) was inaugurated at Bahçeşehir University. The center’s director, Bora Erdamar, said BlockchainIST will be “the most important center of research and development and innovation in Turkey in which scientific studies and publications are made in blockchain technologies.”

Earlier this month, Turkey’s Istanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasbank) announced a blockchain-based platform for trading physical gold. Takasbank’s new project aims to enable users to transfer physical gold stored at the Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange.

In the same way all economic movements have done throughout history, blockchain finance challenges our traditional conceptions of ‘value,’ and, in turn, our ideas about identity and freedom. The new digital economy is now being built by a worldwide community who share common goals of decentralization, transparency, and financial inclusion.

My first real job was at Bank One Corporation in the Research and Recovery department, taking pictures of checks saved on spools of microfilm and mailing them out to customers. Flash forward a couple of decades, and technology has obviated and remade my old job many times over. Now I work in the latest iteration of that cycle—cryptocurrency.

Copying checks was my first peek behind the curtain of the global financial system, and it felt empowering. Cryptocurrency—and the fascinating blockchain technology behind it—has the potential to bring that feeling of empowerment to so many others. However, it is still perplexing to the average consumer with most not understanding why it even has value, let alone how to use and secure it. With over half the world’s population online, less than one percent is said to own or use cryptocurrency, signaling that mainstream adoption is not yet within reach.

As teams continue to build the tools and platforms that will redefine the global economy, there are four simple truths we should all keep in mind: keep it transparent, accessible, secure, and human.

Transparency Will Redefine Global Finance

When you break down the barriers to entry for both traditional and blockchain-powered finance, the barriers for the latter currently seem higher. But blockchain financial products only seem more complex, simply because we are witness to its inner mechanics, which is unfamiliar to most because of intricate code and cryptography.

Traditional finance hides similarly complex processes behind easy to use banking apps and ATMs. We can deposit money in a local branch with real people, an interaction that feels familiar and safe. But all of these interactions carry a far greater cost to our financial lives—monthly fees, transaction costs, crippling interest rates, contracts, passive data collection, and, most worryingly, financial exclusion and corruption.

The 2008 financial crisis nearly sank the global economy. However, after ten years, most people are still mystified by terms like “Credit Default Swap” and “Mortgage-Backed Securities” with no idea what role banks and bankers played in the collapse. Banks have barriers made of glass, with the curtains voluntarily drawn.

Blockchain’s transparency, however, enables individuals and businesses to see—in real time—what is happening with every single transaction, investment, fund, and credit, and exactly where they are stored and sent. This transparency, when combined with open source tools, not only has the potential for enhancing technological innovation, but also for elucidating the underlying economic principles of blockchain based financial products.

Maker is one of the most popular and well-respected platforms in the ecosystem precisely for these reasons. Want a loan but don’t understand what a Collateralized Debt Position is? The MakerDAO CDP portal provides a concise explanation. Follow the steps to generate Dai currency and fully understand your interest rate and the terms of repayment. There is no negotiation or contract to sign. A person should not need to be a banker to understand how their loans work, and that is one of the reasons why platforms like Maker are so compelling.

Make Crypto-Finance Easier Than Traditional Finance

One of the greatest barriers to the mass adoption of any groundbreaking new technology is its accessibility—both through its purchase cost and its usability.

But blockchain is not inherently free to run or to use. To be an active user of the blockchain is to pay for it in some way, like through transaction fees. But utilities themselves should be free, otherwise, we sustain a barrier to entry that is too high. Users need to be free to experiment—to learn by doing. As blockchain businesses, we can make our consumer tools free, making cryptocurrency more accessible. Builders of crypto platforms and tools can easily finance themselves through mechanisms such as transactions fees, micropayments, or B2B models.

The process of buying, storing, and transacting in crypto also demands a steep learning curve, so usability and user experience cannot be underestimated. The UX has to be simple and elegant enough to parallel how simple and elegant the blockchain really is, to interact with it, and observe its core functions.

Developing solutions that are intuitive to use and can be integrated with existing technologies, such as mobile phones, will help the world become crypto literate and, by extension, drive its widespread use. In the developed world, 82 percent of adults have both a mobile phone and access to the internet. In developing economies, the number is 40 percent. We can put cryptocurrency in their hands through mobile apps or customized crypto-finance mobile services that are simple to use.

From Security to Safety

The inherent security and immutability of blockchain technology are what makes it superior to traditional finance. But, as some critics have pointed out, what constitutes “security” is subjective. Ethereum Foundation researcher and Casper Protocol project lead, Vlad Zamfir, has said it’s Ethereum’s secure properties that can make it unsafe for users. Immutable and irreversible, blockchain transactions are perilous for naive crypto holders. It’s said that without significant hand-holding, onboarding new cryptocurrency users is “ethically dangerous.”

We need to be those hand-holders. As we develop our blockchain tools, built-in security should be a priority, helping to break the current stigma of the cryptocurrency industry as the ‘Wild West’ of finance.

As we’ve seen time and time again—nothing is unhackable, there are bugs in every system, and various forms of malfeasance cannot be avoided. Fraud is rising in cryptocurrency, and cybercrime evolves as fast as blockchain technology, playing to the biggest weakness of new users—their inexperience. While we must all commit to proactively educating our new users, our core responsibility lies in safeguarding them as the first line of defence.

We can integrate the best security measures proven to mitigate risk, providing as many layers of protection as necessary. This includes hardware functionality, two-factor authentication, MetaMask compatibility, and never requiring users to enter private keys into their browser.

At the end of the day, if we want the average person to move toward crypto-finance and store their rainy-day fund in a crypto wallet, those funds should be respected by offering the best possible security.

Technology Is Inherently Human

Beyond all of these design concepts, it is important to remind ourselves that a blockchain—as a global, decentralized network—is made up of real people. If it’s destined to survive and reshape our global economy, diverse populations should consider the blockchain a place where they belong.

For blockchain to have anything resembling that sentiment, it’s necessary to understand that every node run, every transaction sent, and every contract executed, has its roots in a fundamental human impulse. It means that someone out there is just trying to buy a home, raise a child, get a job, or just relax at the end of the day.

The different ways people are drawn to crypto and blockchain are continuously growing as new use cases tap into the imagination of those who see beyond technical aspects, or beyond the investment opportunities that enticed early adopters. Serving and incorporating diverse and marginalized voices in the creation of this ecosystem is essential to its longevity and broader adoption.

Some rules are not meant to be broken. As the global economy slowly turns digital, hopefully, the teams at the forefront driving this transformation will create new rules which help place cryptocurrency in everyone’s pocket, as well as break some old rules that no longer serve us all.

This post credited to Cryptoslate. Image source: Cryptoslate

Swiss Post, the country’s national postal service, and state-owned telecoms provider Swisscom have united to develop a blockchain platform.

The two announced Thursday that they are using Hyperledger Fabric to build their “simple, secure and sustainable” private blockchain infrastructure, intended to be utilized by their own, as well as other companies’, applications.

The infrastructure is designed to meet the high security levels required by banks, while all data hosted will remain within Switzerland, they added.

The announcement indicates that the system is more energy efficient than public blockchain offerings, stating:

“In contrast to “public blockchains” (e.g. bitcoin and ethereum), this private blockchain infrastructure requires much less energy, since it can only be used by identified users who have a contractual relationship with the providers of an application. This enables more efficient agreement procedures as well as significantly higher security and performance.”

The first pilot blockchain apps are scheduled for launch in Q2 2019, with use cases said to be focusing on corporates and government agencies desiring to digitize business processes in a “secure and verified” manner.

Swiss Post and Swisscom also said they are open to accepting other partners to join them on the project. Ultimately, they desire “to enable the Swiss economy to quickly obtain a leading position when it comes to using this promising technology.”

The two companies are already using blockchain technology for several use cases.

Swiss Post’s financial services unit PostFinance, for instance, launched a pilot project in May that provides smart energy billing via blockchain. It also stores temperature data on a blockchain for monitoring pharmaceuticals in transit.

Swisscom is working with its subsidiary, Daura AG, on a blockchain system that facilitates the issuance, purchase and sale of shares.

This post credited to coindesk Image via Shutterstock

Russian Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin has stated that while bitcoin has deflated like a “soap bubble,” it has impacted the world positively by boosting investment in new technologies. Speaking to the media on Wednesday at Russia Calling, an investment forum organised by VTB Capital, Oreshkin said that despite the woes of the crypto market, the conversation around it has successfully driven significant international interest in a vast number of projects in new fields, principally blockchain technology.

Giving his comments at the event, he said:

“You may recall what I said, for example, last year, when Bitcoin’s price jumped up to $20,000, and now it is lower than $4,000, we said very simple things. Bitcoin itself is a soap bubble, it deflated, that’s what happened. […] Unfortunately, many people were affected [because of their investments in cryptocurrency], but again, in terms of new technologies, new businesses, it gave a positive impetus.”

His line is in keeping with the general Russian state reaction to the growth of cryptocurrency. Until now, the legal status of crypto trading, ICOs, and mining has not been firmly established in the country, with Russian authorities doing little more than issuing vague disclaimers and investment advisories from time to time.

While a number of prominent voices have advocated blockchain adoption for reasons as varied as using a gold-linked cryptocurrency to protect its arms export industry to adopting DLT to eliminate customer abuse in the pension fund industry, this still remains far from happening. Thus far, the Russian state’s interest in bitcoin has been largely restricted to facilitating foreign missions in need of hard-to-trace cash.

In March, three draft bills aimed at correcting the regulatory gap were submitted of reading in Russia’s parliament, although the proposed laws included a clause that stipulated that Russia does not recognise digital financial assets as legal tender in the country. Despite this, it has been reported in the past that the country is examining the possibility of skirting US-imposed sanctions using cryptocurrency as a primary solution.

Speaking in June, President Vladimir Putin stated that while the state continues to look at the crypto “phenomenon” with great interest, it cannot at the moment issue or sanction the issue of such tokens since, by definition, they fall outside the regulatory scope of relevant government agencies. That notwithstanding, during this year’s FIFA World Cup which held in Russia, it was announced that hotels and selected hospitality spots would accept cryptocurrency as millions of fans from around the world arrived in Russia.

This post credited to ccn Featured image from Shutterstock

The presidential candidate of Nigeria’s leading opposition party has promised to support blockchain and cryptocurrency, local news outlet the DailyPost article reported Nov. 24.

The Nigerian news outlet reportedly analyzed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar’s “Get Nigeria Working Again” policy that he reportedly promised to enact if he is elected president February 16, 2019.

DailyPost reports that in the document, the politician declared that “he aims to speed up the economy positively through blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

According to DailyPost, Abubaka stated that to unlock “the potentials of the new economy” PDP “shall promote the production of a comprehensive policy on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.”

DailyPost also quoted Abubakar platform as stating “regulation will provide clarity” in this “industry that consists of 1,800 currency types.” The terms of the mandate are also promised to be “managed in a way that provides job opportunities as well as income for the government and people of Nigeria.”

As Cointelegraph reported in mid-October, the Nigerian government has been partnering with local startups to develop blockchain in the country. In March, Nigerian regulator Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) warned against the use of cryptocurrencies because transactions are not insured.

This post credited to cointelegraph Image source: Cointelegraph

Binance Labs Director Benjamin Rameau has stated that Africa is front and center of the company’s expansion strategy as it bets on a vision of the 21st century driven by the world’s youngest population gaining increased access to technology and opportunities.

In June, CCN reported that Binance began actualizing its African expansion strategy when it opened Uganda’s first ever Fiat-Crypto exchange offering trading pairs with the Ugandan Shilling.

Contrarian Investment Ideas

In a detailed blog published on his Medium page, Rameau comprehensively outlines why Binance believes that the future is African, starting with a historical comparison to Asia in the 1960s – also an under-serviced continent with a poor population.

According to him, the same contrarian investment strategies that proved extremely successful as Asia kicked off an economic miracle in the face of all expectation are likely to reap similar rewards in 21st century Africa.

The post goes on to state that unlike in developed markets where it competes with a flawed existing financial system, crypto has the potential to build a completely new financial system in parts of Africa where to all intents and purposes none currently exist, such as South Sudan where only 9 percent of people over 15 years old have a bank account.

Earlier when CCN reported on Binance opening up in Uganda, the story noted that Ugandans’ access to financial services has grown rapidly over the past decade, driven by digital inclusion through a wide adoption of mobile money platforms. According to a World Bank news report, there has been an over 100 percent rise in the number of adult Ugandans with access to formal financial services since 2009, but the total percentage of the population with this access is still about 16 percent.

From a Binance perspective, this scenario contains the real possibility for huge growth. Essentially, an entire generation of hundreds of millions of young, technology-receptive people could come into crypto finance as their first ever experience of a structured financial system, establishing crypto as a default paradigm on the world’s largest inhabited continent, which would be game-changing for crypto perception and adoption worldwide.

Expanding on this Rameau states:

“Access to financial services for saving, borrowing and protection will provide the capital to fund entrepreneurs, provide a safety net for retirement planning and provide disaster relief. Renewed optimism about the future will arise when people are given the freedom to take on risk. Households will have fewer children and invest more per child on education when parents can pre-finance their retirements. This will form the backbone to the modernization of African economies.”

Industrialisation, Jobs, Governance, Scalability and Stability

According to Rameau, the 20th century model of industrialization which involved creating large industrial parks for manufacturing activities will be completely disrupted in a decentralized world due to the rise of technology such as 3D printing and cheap high-speed transportation, which will enable on premise, on-demand manufacture. Reducing the current industrial model to a relic will see Africa better able to compete in the global economy.

Another reason Binance sees a large future in Africa is the potential for crypto to integrate a vast continental market of more than one billion people which has a shockingly low level of intra-regional trade. Due to anachronistic, colonial-era barriers and restrictions, it is often easier and less expensive for an African country to trade with a European country than with its neighbor next door.

Crypto has the potential to quickly and comprehensively upstage the status quo using internationally recognized stores of value and watertight smart contracts amongst other blockchain-based solutions. Use of DAOs will prove to be a winning strategy for effortlessly sidestepping the legendary bureacracy involved in trading among Africa 55 countries.

The growth of the crypto economy will also create more economic opportunities for young Africans who will be placed to tap into the benefits offered by outsourcing from wealthier economies. Apart from improving the continent’s balance of trade and human development indices, the growth of economic opportunities on the continent will help to stem the flow of young Africans migrating to Europe and beyond in search of a better life, which is a major political issue in the world today.

Finally, Rameau mentions crypto’s usefulness as a stable alternative to Africa’s poorly performing national fiat currencies and as a means for sidestepping and preempting government-level malfeasance. As has already been proven in Zimbabwe, crypto can become a stable basis for an economy ravaged by high inflation.

Beyond that, however, DAOs allow small and large projects to be executed trustlessly in line with preset parameters determined by aligned interests. It is thus possible to effectively tokenize governance and make it impossible for public officials to steal funds or misuse their positions to the detriment of the public good.

According to Rameau, Binance sees itself as an African country, the same as it is Asian or European because the decentralization of DAOs makes them perfectly able to adapt to local circumstances while still being truly global.

CCN earlier reported that Binance pays more than 90 percent of its staff in its platform’s native BNB tokens, as part of the company’s effort to position itself as a much bigger value proposition that just a cryptocurrency exchange.

This post credited to ccn  Featured image from Shutterstock.

While the cryptocurrency market continues going through a wobbly phase with weak asset prices and little sense of an imminent recovery, job creation figures related to the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector across the world’s most populated continent are recording a very firm and noticeable uptrend.

Across Asia, both startups and established corporations have set blockchain technology adoption firmly in their sights, according to an August 31, 2018 report by CNBC.

50 Percent Increase

The report states that following the crypto market bull run of 2017, interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies has spiked across Asia, with both new and established businesses racing to incorporate blockchain technology into their operations.

According to data from the recruitment company Robert Walters, there has been a 50 percent increase in 2018 over 2017 in the number of job roles related to blockchain or cryptocurrency, with heightened interest in particular on programmers with Python language proficiency.

Whether it is at established legacy businesses like IBM or newer upstarts like Binance, Asia is creating blockchain-related job opportunities at an unprecedented rate. This is also reciprocated by jobseekers, according to data from job postings board Indeed. Pulling data from its vital Asian markets namely Malaysia, India, Australia, and Singapore, Indeed confirms that job seekers across the continent display heightened interest in blockchain roles.

Speaking to CNBC, Julian Hosp, Cofounder of crypto wallet startup TenX revealed that the relative infancy of the blockchain industry in Asia makes it difficult if not impossible to hire talent for new roles from within due to the sheer number of new roles needed versus the number of people with the requisite skills actively involved in the industry. As a result, he explains, companies are hiring blockchain talent from outside the space.

In his words:

“We hardly ever hire from inside of crypto because most people inside of crypto are very inexperienced. You have very, very few people who are experienced who get into the crypto industry.”

John Mullally, a financial services director in Hong Kong, confirms this, stating that while there is indeed a significant amount of interest in new blockchain roles, the number of people with the required skill set to fill those roles is relatively low.

This bears out an earlier report by BTCManager where it was revealed that the demand for blockchain talent far outstrips supply, effectively making it an employee’s market, with starting developer salaries going as high as $100,000 in some cases.

Interest Volatility and Lag Effect

According to Julian Hosp quoted earlier, the vagaries of the crypto market do have some effect on companies’ decisions to invest in blockchain talent.

He said:

“If crypto is doing well, if people are making money in crypto, we get huge inbound from people because they feel like, ‘I need to jump on this wave.”

Giving a counterpoint to this, Justin Chow, Asia head of business at Cumberland says that many conventional finance professionals have become interested in moving into crypto over the past three to six months after the initial lag effect caused by the price crash.

According to him, the delay between initially having their interest in crypto piqued in December 2017 and looking to get into it now in late 2018 is likely because many professionals did not want to risk their careers on a price surge and so they decided to wait it out.

In May 2018, BTCManager reported that cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Olaf Carlson-Wee believes that top-tier tech talent is joining the crypto industry “in waves.”


This post is credited to btcmanager   Image source: btcmanager

1.The appeal

Blockchain technology is beginning to move past cryptocurrencies into companies and now governments. Countries around the world are trialing the emerging technology in areas from recording votes in elections to storing the records of citizens.

Distributed ledger technology (DLT) or blockchain as it’s more commonly known was pioneered by the creator of bitcoin, a digital currency. Bitcoin’s blockchain is a public ledger of activity that stores information about all the transactions taking place on the network. It cannot be hacked or tampered with and it is not owned by a central authority. Instead, a group of participants uphold the network.

CNBC has previously taken a deep dive into how exactly the blockchain works and its use cases in the corporate world. The key part about the blockchain is that it allows several parties that don’t necessarily trust each other, to share a common database that is cryptographically secure. This means that complex processes like contract negotiations could be made cheaper, faster and simpler.

“I think one of the biggest potential promises for governments is credibility enhancement and blockchain at its core. It fundamentally is a way to minimize the degree of trust that is required, and governments all over the world have historically struggled with maintaining wide trust at all points in time.”
Garrick Hileman, head of research at Blockchain and co-founder of

Blockchain, which was once viewed skeptically by governments worried about its affiliation with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is in vogue. Experiments are taking place globally into how the distributed ledger technology could be used on a national level. Of course, it would not mimic the bitcoin blockchain, but instead take the principles of a distributed trust-based system and apply it to government processes.

DLT is still in its early stages and there are still many problems to overcome before scalable government-level uses of the technology can be seen. CNBC takes a look through how blockchain is being used by governments.

2.State-backed cryptocurrencies

Given blockchain first began with bitcoin, it’s a natural next step that nations would begin thinking about their own digital currencies. Several countries have talked about state-backed cryptocurrencies but exactly how they work or what they will look like is still up for debate.

Venezuelan ‘petro’

The first country to actually introduce a state-backed cryptocurrency is Venezuela. It’s known as the “petro” and was launched earlier this year in a bid to raise money amid economic meltdown and sanctions.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the digital currency is backed by oil and it raised $735 million when it was first released. And in the latest attempt to save the country’s economy, Maduro devalued the Venezuelan bolivar and introduced a new fiat currency known as the “sovereign bolivar,” which will be backed by the petro.

But the petro does not trade, unlike most other major fiat currencies, and it has been called a scam by experts and illegal by Venezuela’s own parliament. It may seem odd for a country to introduce its own cryptocurrency, but Maduro’s comments in August highlight the motivation.

“They’ve dollarized our prices. I am petrolizing salaries and petrolizing prices … We are going to convert the petro into the reference that pegs the entire economy’s movements,” he said.

Venezuela would like to see the dominance of the U.S. dollar depleted and Maduro said last year that the country would like to “free” itself from the greenback.

But Venezuela’s attempt at a state-backed cryptocurrency might not be the route for others to copy, according to Jeff Schumacher, founder of BCG DV, an investor in blockchain start-ups.

“State-backed cryptocurrencies in regimes like Venezuela will do nothing to stimulate economic recovery. Whether standard or crypto, any currency needs to be backed on the fundamentals of the underlying economy,” Schumacher told CNBC by email.

“Venezuela’s economy is in shambles and creating a crypto will not change that. Most people won’t value it because they don’t believe in the government or the economy. History will inevitably repeat itself and we will likely see Venezuela’s petro collapse.”


China and Russia are among the nations that have talked about state-issued digital currencies. Others include Turkey, Qatar and Iran. The similarities between them include being reliant on the U.S. dollar, as well arguably having somewhat authoritarian regimes.

Cryptocurrencies are seen as a way potentially to reduce reliance on the greenback as well as have more oversight into where money is moving.

“Digital currencies may help a number of countries who are looking to de-dollarize to do that,” Hileman said.

“Cryptocurrencies, with their autonomy could offer a more independent and trusted alternative to the U.S. dollar, especially if they have backing of strong assets in terms of oil or gold in the early stage before they get a degree of stability where they don’t need that,” he added.

But Hileman said it was unclear how these state-backed digital coins would work. They could be issued by a central bank and backed by an asset at the start, just like Venezuela claims its petro is.

It’s not just the more authoritarian nations looking into state-backed cryptocurrencies either. Others like Singapore are testing a way to use a digital version of the Singapore dollar for cross-border payments. Swtizerland’s government has also commissioned a study into the possibility of an “e-franc.”

A state-run bitcoin?

It may be a mistake to call state-run digital currencies “cryptocurrencies” because they may not necessarily run on a blockchain. Instead they could be digital versions of a country’s fiat currency.

“No one’s in a rush to get this done. Will it therefore be necessary for it (blockchain) to be part of a digital currency if central banks issued it? Well the answer is I think not,” Stephen Poloz, governor of Canada’s central bank told CNBC in January.

This would be a big difference from bitcoin which is based on a blockchain and is decentralized. On the other hand, state-backed digital currencies would be issued by a central authority, perhaps a central bank.

3.Other uses of blockchain

Blockchain technology offers the promise of more efficient and accurate processes because of how it works. And for governments that is exciting given the amount of data that they hold on citizens and how they are pushing to digitize much of that. Nations are also responsible for a massive amount of record-keeping which could move to the blockchain.

Let’s a take a look at some key trials of blockchain technology in government.


Elections are susceptible to fraud and human error. Blockchain has been touted as a solution to fix that. A number of trials have happened around the world. One of the most recent happened during West Virginia’s primary election in May. Select votes could use a blockchain-based mobile app to vote. It was created by a company called Voatz.

So how did blockchain voting work in this situation?

People voted via a mobile app which was essentially the equivalent of a ballot paper. The mobile ballots are “tokens” or potential votes which are cryptographically tied to a candidate. The voter makes their decision, it is verified by a number of different servers or computers known as “validating nodes.” Upon verification, the token or ballot paper is debited from the voter’s ledger and put on the candidate’s ledger. This is an automatic process and means that a single person cannot vote twice. And it’s now on a blockchain that cannot be tampered with.

Credit checks

China has been cracking down hard on cryptocurrencies and ICOs, but it has been focusing heavily on DLT. Earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that blockchain has “breakthrough” applications.

Parts of the Chinese government have been working with blockchain firms in various areas such as credit scoring. One of those companies is Points which has partnered with a subsidiary of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology to create blockchain solution for know your customer (KYC) and credit scoring.

The KYC product removes the need for institutions to repetitively conduct the process manually.

“With its partnership with the Chinese government, Points has access to verify ID and criminal records on 1 billion people in China. Thanks to Points’ blockchain protocol, the normally time-consuming KYC process which would normally be done manually, increases the efficiency for institutional partners,” founder Sarah Zhang told CNBC by email.

“It does this by reducing the institution’s need to store data on their own servers as Points because they can simply verify identities or other relevant information through blockchain that has already been verified before.”

This process could be used all around the world but requires data to be opened up to allow verification of a person’s identity and their credit score.

Supply chains

Supply chains are very complicated with several parties involved across many countries. Goods are passed between various parties and lots of contracts are involved in the process. This is a scenario where DLT has been tested.

At a government level, the U.K.’s food watchdog carried out a pilot using blockchain technology in a cattle slaughterhouse. In the pilot, both the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the slaughterhouse had permission to access the data. They were able to share information on the supply chain, working off one ledger, rather than various different documents.

Blockchain-based supply chains is something several companies are trying out too.

These are just a handful of examples where blockchain has been trialed with many more in the works.

What next?

Blockchain is without a doubt one of the most-hyped technologies this year with people working in the industry seeing it as a silver bullet solution to many processes, which indeed it may not be. Trials are underway but there’s a long way to go before this becomes mainstream.

A number of competing blockchain platforms from Ethereum to Hyperledger are battling to become the dominant player. But one big problem for DLT is scalability, that is, whether it can work on a wide scale efficiently, which would be crucial for it to be effective at a national level.

Hileman said that with the price of cryptocurrencies rising and falling many developers of the underlying blockchain technology may have taken their “eyes of the ball,” but are now back to creating solutions that may come to market soon.

“We will see further work done in the next 12-to-18 months in testing various scalable solutions that will deliver on the promises we have heard about,” Hileman told CNBC.

“There are questions that have not been answered, but I’m confident they will be. There are smart people with different blockchain designs and one of these will work, several of these will work. Resources are there, brain power is there, it’s just a matter of time and I think we will see major advances in scalability.”

This post credited to CNBC   Image souce: CNBC & Getty Images

The internet has provided an unparalleled means of communicating with people all over the world. There are more than 60 billion messages sent per day on WhatsApp and Facebook messenger combined as well as 269 billion emails sent on a daily basis. However, these platforms have slowly become centralized over time allowing them to become prime targets for hackers and other actors seeking to harvest our data. Both of them have continuously threatened users’ rights to privacy.

Blockchain technology’s disruptive force innovates the way our data are stored, allowing users to fully control personal details they would like to share in public. Leveraging the potential of blockchain technology and decentralization may well be the key to protecting our privacy.

Centralized Threat

Facebook’s recent Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal exhibited just how companies have harvested users’ private data for monetization purposes. An estimated 87 million users around the world have had their personal information used by analytical firms, making it one of the worst data breaches in social media history. While this isn’t new, it highlights the inadequate data protection that exists in our current platforms.

Technological advancement has revealed another way to manage our data through blockchain technology. But this method isn’t something novel, in fact, it harkens back to some of the earliest ideas of the internet. Decentralization set the stage for the unparalleled World Wide Web we know today. It is also a central feature of blockchain technology.

Distributed Privacy

Blockchain provides an infrastructure that allows a secure platform that provides multiple innovative use cases. The immutability and transparency that blockchain provides can gain back users’ right to privacy. However, this technology is still in its infancy.

Credit: Forbes