Blockchain: A Panacea for Trust Challenges In Public Services? A Socio-technical Perspective
British Blockchain Association
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Trust in corporations, governments and public services has been steadily declining over the last few decades. L ack of transparency and auditability has been a key driver for this decline. Blockchain technology has been co mmended as a solution that can h elp with disintermediat ion and fill ing the consistently increasing trust challenges faced by the corporate and public s ector s . Public services are seeking solutions that can help establish trust and increase transpar e n c y with its citizens and b usinesses are undertaking extensive business analysis to determine the need and effectiveness of blockchain - like platforms as the basis for transforming their existing platforms. Due to the decisive nature, most of the analysis results thus indicate that if a trusted third party is an option, then blockchain should not be used. Here we highlight the challenges a nd opportunities of establishing trust and how blockchain technology can help public services bridge the trust gap with its citizens . We argue that all information technology systems rely on a suite of technologies , thus blockchain should be added to the c urrent technology stack rather than taking an ‘ all or nothing ’ approach. We also argue that analysing the effectiveness of futuristic technology like blockchain with industrial age methodology and mindset may limit th e realisation of its impact on society and economy . Therefore, we propose to take a heuristic approach , where different properties of blockchain technology need to be mapped against different aspects of current business process with a futuristic view in mind. Taking Com panies House – a governme nt organisation that holds over 4 million UK - based companies ’ records – as an example, we demonstrate how certain business processes in Companies House can benefit from adapting a blockchain - based solution.
Journal of The British Blockchain Association;
Shahaab, A., Maude, R., Hewage, C. and Khan, I. (2020) 'Blockchain-A Panacea For Trust Challenges In Public Services? A Socio-technical Perspective', The Journal of The British Blockchain Association, p.14128. https://doi.org/10.31585/jbba-3-2-(6)2020
Article published in The Journal of The British Blockchain Association available open access at https://doi.org/10.31585/jbba-3-2-(6)2020
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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