Blockchains are an example of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) – an authoritative system of record where everyone who subscribes to the blockchain gets a permanent record of every transaction. Once an entry is written to the blockchain, it cannot be altered by anyone, and everyone can see when and by whom it was added.
This means there’s a single source of truth, but no need for everyone to ‘just trust’ a single authority – trust is distributed and decentralised amongst the users.
We’ve been looking into how DLT could improve government systems. This property of distributing trust could be genuinely transformational in situations where public trust of government might not be taken for granted.
As the blockchain is distributed, append-only, and near real-time, even the most ardent conspiracy theorists could verify for themselves that the evidence has not been tampered with – there could be no possibility of records being falsified after the fact without detection.
Of course, this is only a “thought experiment” at this stage, and there are many hurdles to overcome for a real-world implementation. But the possibilities of revolutionary technology to transform not just government, but society as a whole, are genuinely exciting.