It is no secret how blockchain technology could help digitize a ton of different services and reduce the cumbersome administrative workload plaguing our society. While there’s a definite need for bureaucracy right now, not all of these processes have to take weeks or even months to complete. Incorporating distributed blockchain technology could streamline a lot of processes, and the UK might be one of the first regions to embrace this technology. After all, a new effort has been initiated to start digitizing administration.
Digitizing The Bureaucracy
Truth be told, any form of interaction with the government is more of an annoyance than anything else. Not just because we have administrative duties to perform, but simply because all of these tedious processes take up so much valuable time. Plus, in this day and age of digitizing everything, who needs paper anymore? Unfortunately, not every government department accepts scanned or faxed documents, and requires people to come by in person to put down a few autographs.
Digitizing the governmental hierarchy and infrastructure is a process that will take several years at last. But over in the United Kingdom, a new initiative has taken root already. The Government Digital Service seems to hold the answer to solving these problems, by launching new services to streamline interaction between bureaucrats and citizens.
While regular services such as filing taxes can be done in digital format in multiple countries, changing your address or getting a new proof of residency is a different matter altogether. A trip to the local town hall can only be made during business hours, requiring the working class to take a day off for a task that will take all but 10 minutes. Part of this has to do with paying for certain services, as online payments are simply not possible.
All of that is about to change with the UK’s new services, called Pay and Notify. But there is more to these initiatives than making things more convenient, as they will both help in cutting overhead costs as well. Contact with government representatives is far more cost effective over the Internet, compared to phone calls or even peer-to-peer meetings.
Even though this project is nothing short of commendable, there is still a long road ahead regarding the digitization of governmental services. Convincing the people in charge as to why this digital solution is needed is an entirely different matter. On top of that, there is the topic of why the taxpayer should care as well, as they might not see the immediate benefits either.
Distributed Ledger Technology Is Beneficial
Digitizing everything is not the only struggle governments around the world are struggling with right now. The main hurdle to overcome is building a trust relationship with citizens, and this challenge is even more monumental. Especially the lack of transparency is making this process a lot harder than it needs to be. Luckily for all parties involved, the blockchain and its distributed ledger technology can be a valuable tool along the way.
Creating more transparency is hard when sticking to inadequate technological solutions. Distributed ledgers, on the other hand, offer transparency from day one, and allow governments to further reduce overhead costs associated with administrative tasks. Being able to bring digitized services to consumers and provide more transparency at the same time is an option well worth exploring.
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