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UK government considers adopting blockchain technology

The government is exploring the potential use of blockchain technology to aid it in dealing with the managing and distribution of grants.

This technology first gained notoriety through its use in the bitcoin currency. Now many governments and financial institutions are interested in using blockchain as a decentralised ledger which can be verified and shared by a network of computers. It can also be used to store data and can keep track of how assets are exchanged.

In a speech at London's Digital Catapult, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock highlighted the ways blockchain technology could be implemented to improve the way the government handles data.

“Rather than a single central authority demanding trust and declaring: 'I say this data is correct,' you have the distributed consensus of everyone in the chain saying in unison: 'We agree that this data is correct.”

This aspect of blockchain technology might even help the government build up greater trust in how it operates when handling the data of its citizens.

Hancock went on to add that the government is considering using the technology to improve its management of grants: “We're exploring the use of a blockchain to manage the distribution of grants. Monitoring and controlling the use of grants is incredibly complex. A blockchain, accessible to all the parties involved, might be a better way of solving the problem”.

Earlier this month, Microsoft made a deal with the R3 Consortium to help accelerate the use of blockchain technologies so it is sensible that governments are looking into implementing the technology as well.

Image Credit: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.