Government urged to switch to blockchains

The technology could be used for tax collection, benefits and issuing passports

Security computer

The UK's chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport has suggested the government should start using blockchains to run many of its monetary and security services, including tax collection, benefits and issuing passports.

The tech, which is also used by digital currency Bitcoin, would enable the government to be more secure when managing money and highly confidential information.

Blockchains digitise the information in traditional ledgers and are then shared by all the computers that access them across a network, making records permanent rather than only activated when the data is transferred. Private blockchains can only be accessed by the systems granted access and are therefore protected against malicious tampering, making it a highly secure option for the government.

The suggestion was made in a report, which examined how blockchains can be used by a wide variety of government services.

"Distributed ledger technologies have the potential to help governments to collect taxes, deliver benefits, issue passports, record land registries, assure the supply chain of goods and generally ensure the integrity of government records and services," the report said.

"In the NHS, the technology offers the potential to improve health care by improving and authenticating the delivery of services and by sharing records securely, according to exact rules."

As it stands, the way the government manages data - especially related to secure transactions - it not protected enough, Walport said. He added that using a centralised system as is currently the case could cause many of the services already digitised to fail.

The report suggested the government starts trialling digital ledger technology to see whether it can be used effectively.

Featured Resources

Become a digital service provider

How to transform your business from network core to edge

Download now

Optimal business results with the cloud

Evaluating the best approaches to hybrid cloud adoption

Download now

Virtualisation that enables choices, not compromises

Harness the virtualisation technology that's right for your hybrid infrastructure

Download now

Email security threat report 2020

Four key trends from spear fishing to credentials theft

Download now

Recommended

Ministers seek powers to block foreign takeovers retrospectively
Policy & legislation

Ministers seek powers to block foreign takeovers retrospectively

11 Nov 2020
Viasat and CDW win NATO contract for the agile C3 project
agile development

Viasat and CDW win NATO contract for the agile C3 project

27 Oct 2020
Taiwan becomes first country to ban Zoom amid security concerns
video conferencing

Taiwan becomes first country to ban Zoom amid security concerns

8 Apr 2020
Ofcom handed remit to police Silicon Valley giants
Policy & legislation

Ofcom handed remit to police Silicon Valley giants

12 Feb 2020

Most Popular

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail
email delivery

How to recover deleted emails in Gmail

6 Jan 2021
The fate of Parler exposes the reality of deregulated social media
Policy & legislation

The fate of Parler exposes the reality of deregulated social media

14 Jan 2021
Should IT departments to call time on WhatsApp?
communications

Should IT departments to call time on WhatsApp?

15 Jan 2021