First, because blockchain uses an open architecture, all transactions are publicly accessible, immutable, and verifiable by anyone. This helps to eliminate corruption and fraud from the transaction. Second, because all smart contract transactions are recorded along a blockchain and cannot be modified ex-post, a permanent and publicly accessible ledger is available to shed any doubt about payments or other transactions throughout the process. And third, because blockchain systems are automated, security in the enforcement mechanism is all but guaranteed. For instance, failure to deliver goods by a set time will automatically trigger a default clause that transmits payment of liquidated damages to the injured party without the intervention of a judge or arbitrator,” the report added.
Blockchain technology has made great strides over the past few years speeding up processes like AI and smartphones. Studies found that improvements in technology are beneficial in classrooms and that technology has the ability to better manage accountability, transparency and overall educational experiences. Partnerships between governments and private sector can also lead the way to boost nationwide education and employment. African Operations Director of blockchain engineering company IOHK, John O’Connor joins CNBC Africa’s Zinathi Gquma to explore blockchain technology and how partnerships with governments can help improve quality of life.
The regulatory balance that exists on the internet cannot be described as elegant or simple, nor did it emerge smoothly. The internet today is far from the ideal, unified, global network that existed in the early 1990s. National regulations and firewalls, IP-based geofences and other tools have all chipped away at the feeling of limitless connectivity that existed in the early days. Despite those restrictions, in much of the world there is still no single, all-powerful gatekeeper that can block a company or idea from accessing the network. The internet remains, for the most part, a permissionless network.
This is most essential element of the internet that makes it an incubator of innovation, and it is the one that is most critical to preserve as we grow the regulatory maturity of the blockchain ecosystem. Many services that we take for granted every day have emerged on the internet in spite of fierce opposition from established industry players.
In the private sector, adoption of open standards-based technology has been on a roll for years. Federal agencies have been slower to embrace these models, though adoption has been climbing steadily.
Embrace of standards-based technology may be about to accelerate amid increasing recognition in Washington about the need to modernize federal IT systems. The government still heavily relies on proprietary legacy systems that can be expensive to maintain, more vulnerable to cyberattacks and often struggle to meet the expectations of digital-savvy citizens.
A similar ‘pooling’ of data is needed to help us reach net-zero emissions targets, said Starks. “When it comes to energy distribution in the United Kingdom, for instance, we have large power stations, innumerable wind turbines, and countless microgeneration solar panels. At the consumer level, there are smart meters, too. So, in practice we’ve got millions of data bits flying around at any given moment, within a highly complex ecosystem. The breadth of available information is increasing exponentially.”
This will create challenges in the future for the UK. For example, how will local authorities digest the data effectively, in order to plan the installation of environmentally friendly heat pumps? How will they know whether there’s enough capacity on the local energy grid, and what the transmission constraints are? Bringing all the necessary information together is, and will be, incredibly complex. Clearly, improved access and sharing of the relevant data is essential to country-level sustainable transitions, and to delivering the green industrial revolution.
I could wrap up with my rambling summations: This is a real step towards decentralisation and an architype for a model which Governments themselves could look to for future adoption. But why not end with the words of speechmaker extraordinaire, Gerard:
“What we want to create, ultimately, is a fabric of people in decentralised working groups and chapters, and, from their efforts, bring together a fabric of technology to really establish an interdependent and interconnected world which benefits us all.”
An oft noted major challenge lies in consistent ESG reporting or score uniformity across variegated frameworks and standards such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) — with others still being formed. Talk of a uniform set of standards to garner “apples to apples” comparisons is increasing in focus. Yet this obstacle is a bit of a red herring: disparate score cards.
Instead of such hefty focus on frameworks, bandwidth needs to go toward companies’ ability to capture real-time sustainability data to then power environmental performance strategies. Proving traction against carbon-neutrality goals will require an external metric, yes, but most importantly will be reliant on technology that can generate accurate, auditable and accountable sustainability measurements, reporting and, thus, records to track against. The technology that will fulfill this pivotal role is blockchain.
Alaska would become the first state to adopt blockchain technology statewide in its voting security system under a proposal by Wasilla Republican Sen. Mike Shower.
Shower said he wants to increase voters’ confidence in the system.
“I’m merely trying to find a way to make it tighter and better as we move into the 21st century, primarily about how we secure our elections, so that people will have faith in the results, even if they don’t like them,” he said.
Platforms like CitizenLab offer solutions for government entities to make data-driven decisions with greater transparency. CitizenLab has expanded its reach in recent years to better serve U.S. cities, and now it is open to all civic organizations.
A blog post written by co-founder and CEO Wietse Van Ransbeeck on March 30 explained the company’s decision to shift to an open source model. The use of open source software in government can provide many benefits for agencies, like the ability to tailor base code to fit a community’s specific needs. As Van Ransbeeck described in the blog, the main goals in this shift are to lower the threshold to participation and increase transparency.
The European Investment Bank plans to harness the power of blockchain to sell bonds, potentially boosting use of the digital-ledger technology as a tool for the region’s debt market.
The European Union’s investment arm hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Banco Santander SA and Societe Generale AG to explore a so-called digital bond in euros, which would be registered and settled using blockchain, according to information from a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about it.