EU Science Hub

Governments and public sector can leverage on blockchain

Governments and public sector can leverage on blockchain to offer:

  • improved efficiency,
  • automation of processes,
  • auditability,
  • transparency and
  • trust.

Using blockchain in this sector can bring about a number of opportunities for the provision of public services.

For allocation of public benefits (like pensions, grants, subsidies or vouchers), blockchain systems can allow for more efficiency, transparency and programmability.

A decentralised network can be put in place to manage transactions without relying on additional third parties or intermediaries.

Image: example: Municipality of Groningen smart vouchers
Municipality of Groningen smart vouchers

©European Union, 2019

In education, blockchain can be used to register digital credentials or certificates, and enable their immediate verification and validation.

It can also reduce bureaucratic procedures for education institutions, employers, graduates and jobseekers.

Image: Example: Blockcerts certificate
Blockcerts certificate

©European Union, 2019

However, so far blockchain has offered incremental rather than radical innovations.

Challenges for its use in the public sector include:

  • inputs from centralised or government-owned systems,
  • high volume, complexity and fragmentation of public services, and
  • ability to set up and scale up stakeholder collaboration