Blockchain a panacea for corruption in state governance, says exec

An article appearing on the World Economic Forum website has made the case for blockchain adoption to fight corruption and wastage of resources in government activities.

Transparency, fairness and efficiency of government systems are some of the areas that are prime for blockchain disruption in public governance.

Writing for the WEF Global Agenda section, Matthew Van Niekerk, co-founder and CEO of blockchain-as-a-service outfit SettleMint, highlighted how blockchain adoption could improve public procurement and land registries.

According to Van Niekerk, public procurement is one of the main avenues of corruption and wastage in government. As part of the report, the SettleMint CEO argued that the closed-off nature of the process encourages illicit interaction between public officials and private businesses.

Van Niekerk surmised that blockchain adoption could facilitate a more open system of public procurement. According to the article, this larger pool of participants will draw from beyond government parastatals and private firms to include a “wider coalition of stakeholders,” such as standards organizations, consumer protection watchdogs and the media, among others.

For Van Niekerk, blockchain adoption will leverage decentralized ledger technology to offer “easily accessible, tamper-proof and real-time window into on-going procurement processes.”

Back in October 2018, a World Bank Group report touted blockchain as a viable tool for defragmenting government procurement protocols across the globe.

Related: Australian senate committee calls for national blockchain land registry

On land registries, Van Niekerk pointed to blockchain as a possible solution to problems surrounding inefficiencies in registration titling systems.

According to Van Niekerk’s article, a blockchain-based registry system will help to eliminate land transaction bottlenecks, thus removing the need for bribes and other less-than-legal activities required to speed up the process.

Land registries are indeed one of the more ubiquitous adoption cases for blockchain technology across the globe. From Sweden to Australia and even countries in Africa, state governments are pursuing distributed ledger technology adoption for land registries.

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