Blockchain experts and Illinois state government explain the importance of the blockchain technology and how it gives an advantage to government by increasing the efficiency of state services.
Many people believe that cryptocurrencies and blockchains are only used for illicit transactions and that it can not be used for the wellbeing of society. However, according to experts that spoke to Illinois House members at a hearing last week, the technology underlying cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be very useful for governments.
The technology behind Bitcoin is a decentralized ledger that keeps track of all the past transaction data and protects it from manipulation and deletion. It is a safe ecosystem and it has many features which makes the blockchain easily adaptable to multiple different situations.
George Chikovani, an executive at the Innovation and Development Foundation, said,
“Blockchain is just two databases talking to each other. “Maybe not two, but billions of databases. There are a lot of databases talking to each other giving reports on the same information.”
Cars and houses can now be purchased with cryptocurrency and that is possible because of new innovations with the blockchain technology.M. Chikovani mentioned that instead of depending on one goverment’s computer and having to go through a long bureaucracy process, with a blockchain-based decentralized system the process would be cheaper, more accurate and faster.
The deputy director of the Illinois Department of Commerce’s office of entrepreneurship, Jennifer Rourke, said : “The security system that makes up blockchains is so complex it would take an almost impossibly powerful supercomputer to crack it, at least by today’s standards.”
Blockchain technology could help reduce the number of servers necessary for the storage of political records. According to the deputy recorder in Cook County, John Mirkovic, “Instead [of the way we store political records right now], we could run 20 servers across the state and run blockchain that way,”
One problem that he noted while in his office is the constant need to upgrade the software. He said,”What this is about is government having the potential to innovate itself, instead of being on the other side of the coin where we’re always the customers.”
The chief of staff in the Illinois Department of Information, Tyler Clark, mentioned that other governments such as Estonia and Georgia are trying to use the blockchain technology for the same applications, but that there is still lots of discussions to have on the subject.
“I never said there would be no problems, and that’s why we’re here,” he said. “That is the reason why we’re here today, is to ask the legislature, which is the appropriate body, to guide this over the next five to 10 years.”