Architecting Blockchain in Government

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Sheila is the CTO in the Digital Transformation Agency of the central Government of her country. She oversees the enterprise architectures of the central Government Administrations.  As Blockchain related projects start running, new modules enter Shelia’s design of the enterprise IT architectures.  She has a lot of experience in her role, but quickly realises that this won’t help her – she can’t approach a blockchain infrastructure in the same way as a database or an application server, given that a blockchain infrastructure is inherently shared.

This means that Sheila must consider a different way to “control” the infrastructure by contributing to (or leading) the governance system of the blockchain ecosystem.  In addition to data, smart contracts are also shared in a Blockchain, and these must follow the guidelines issued by Sheila, focused on allowing them to run on replicated nodes, even outside Government control, fed by the same input and issuing the same output.

Sheila cannot adopt a blockchain infrastructure based on cryptocurrencies because the cost of public administration services would fluctuate from one day to the next.  Furthermore, such infrastructure is set up as a global, publicly available, anonymous network so she’s considering HyperLedger Fabric which would provide her agency with greater flexibility and control.  This offers a permissioned approach to Blockchain where the participants are known and access control is embedded.

Why IBM?

  • IBM is a founder of the HyperLedger consortium in the Linux Foundation, a collaborative effort created to advance cross industry blockchain technologies for business and one of the main contributors to HyperLedger Fabric
  • IBM developed IBM Blockchain Platform based on HyperLedger Fabric and adding powerful development, operations and governance capabilities
  • IBM created many solutions for Blockchain ecosystem in different industries (e.g.:, Food Trust, TradeLens, World Wire)
  • IBM has competencies to deliver Blockchain projects from first prototypes to operating ecosystems, after the design of the right business model

Ask yourself

  • How can you build a blockchain infrastructure for exchanging data among Government Administrations and running shared processes?
  • How can you add transparency to the internal Administration processes that support citizens and enterprises?
  • How can you extend the ecosystem of Administrations, Citizens and Enterprises to a new stakeholder without impacting your Blockchain infrastructure and the services being provide?
  • How can you deliver GDPR’s “right to erasure” with an immutable Blockchain?
  • How can you offer guidelines on when blockchain should and should not be used?

This is the third in a series of blog posts on the ways in which Blockchain can help Governments deliver better services for citizens.  The previous post can be found here.

Executive IT Architect, Federal CTO Office, IBM Global Markets

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