Why don’t people pay with Bitcoin?

Why don’t people pay with Bitcoin?

Ever since Bitcoin first was created, 11 years ago, the community around it grew and for the past few years, everyone started talking about mass adoption. But before even thinking about Bitcoin replacing cash and traditional fiat, we need to overcome the handicap we are facing right now and answer the question: Why don’t people pay with Bitcoin?

Probably one of the main reasons nobody spends Bitcoin is because nobody earns Bitcoin on a regular basis. If this ever changes then we can expect a whole lot more stream. It isn’t ideal to purchase Bitcoin and then to use it to buy something else. But for those who have it coming in their wallet each week, the mindset is different.

What are the reasons people refuse to use Bitcoin for everyday payments? Why don’t people pay with Bitcoin?

Tax And Regulations

Why don’t people pay with Bitcoin? There’s no denying that taxation issues aren’t helping with the Bitcoin mass adoption.

As a normal consumer and taxpayer, why would an individual want to complicate his or her life with paying tax for cryptocurrency, when they have a complicated enough life as it is? Most won’t bother.

The taxation of Bitcoin has another major issue – Bitcoin’s volatility. To understand how volatility can affect a Bitcoin holder, consider this: An individual can purchase 0.1 BTC when the price of Bitcoin is $10000 and then trade it a number of times, ending with a net profit of 0.005 BTC by the end of the year. This concludes that your total amount of Bitcoin is 0.015 BTC. But consider that the current price of Bitcoin is $6000. So even with an increase in the amount of BTC, there is still a cut from the initial price and since the tax needs to be paid in USD, it boils down to whether declare this situation a reduction or a profit. This case needs to be clearly defined if there will be voluntary compliance.

Most Bitcoin owners are confused about the regulations are believe it is unfair to pay double taxation. VAT is a widely applied outside the US and it already represents a tax and paying yet another tax just because something is being bought with Bitcoin would result in double taxation.

On top of that, it wouldn’t be realistic to assume that the authorities and the financial institutions will simplify the tax collecting procedure while they haven’t sorted out what’s the best way to tax Bitcoin, in the first place. And this leads to another point, regulation of Bitcoin. Regulating Bitcoin will take a great deal of time.

And regulation needs to be comprehensible by most individuals. Paying tax for something that was created to avoid this old system in the first place, is not something most accept and for good reason. People don’t like paying taxes if they don’t understand where their taxes are going or doing for them.

Can paying taxes be avoided? Yes. 

But taxes are not a problem for those using services which don’t send out tax reports for purchases made with Bitcoin, such as BitRefill, eGifter and OverStock. Many use such services to purchase good using Bitcoin while paying not paying taxes for the cryptocurrency spent.

Hoarding coins

Why don’t people pay with Bitcoin? There are certainly lots of reasons why ordinary consumers don’t use Bitcoin to pay for services or products.

We must bear in mind that the image of Bitcoin that was portrayed since 2018  throughout financial debates is not reflecting the entire picture and it is starting to fade. Obviously, one major reason behind the adoption problem is that many retailers lack cryptocurrency payments because they are only holding crypto in for that potential bull run. And we might not really blame these individuals since for certain Bitcoin is a fantastic digital advantage to hold as an investment.

The crypto community tends to agree on the fact that the big majority aren’t spending their Bitcoin because they are hoarding their coins. That’s why it is expected to see a higher volume of trades when the Bitcoin price goes up, as many are waiting to cash in on their profits.

In the speculative market we have today, holding your Bitcoin for better days is what most seem to be doing. It is simply too risky to pay with Bitcoin and to precious to sell it.

To put in a simple sentence, the answer to “Why don’t people pay with Bitcoin?” is “Because people don’t earn simply Bitcoin, they don’t understand regulation and taxation and see it way too risky due to the speculative market.”

Crypto World November 2019: Bitcoin Lightning, BTC ATMS, Ripple acquired MoneyGram

Crypto World November 2019: Bitcoin Lightning, BTC ATMS, Ripple acquired MoneyGram

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network Can Be Used for Private Messaging

Lightning Labs revealed an experimental project: Whatsat, an application of the lightning network which may be utilised to send private messages.

Just like bitcoin, it is censorship-resistant. However, unlike encrypted programs that morph messages to info, securing the text to keep the messages private from prying eyes, there is no central thing to prevent users from using the system.

The developer Joost Jager said:

“Lightning is a peer to peer network in which anyone can participate. There is no central entity that has the ultimate power to decide on [what] users are allowed to communicate.”

Personal messaging is a huge thing in the electronic era, but it is still simple for bad intentioned actors to intercept messages which are not encrypted.

Ghana May Issue Digital Currency in ‘Near Future’

The governor Ghana’s central bank, Ernest Addison, stated that Ghana might issue an electronic form of the country’s currency, the cedi in the”near future”. He also said they are in discussions to develop a pilot project in a “sandbox environment”.

Addison’s opinions, made in Ghana’s Annual Banking Conference, were revealed in a public transcript.

The Bank of Ghana governor said Ghana is experiencing rapid digitization with the help of the mobile banking industry. “Mobile cash” transfers grew by 70% from 2017 to 2018.

Addison said he’d approved that the central bank to issue digital money backed 1:1 by cedi and held electronic wallets Monday. But the digital money is different from cryptocurrency. The governor stated in the press conference:

“It is just electronic money backed by currency,”

So [the central bank] cannot create money; they are only having an electronic representation of the cedi that the Bank of Ghana puts into circulation. So it is not crypto.”

Simon Malls Has 5 New Bitcoin ATMs

Bitstop set up five bitcoin ATMs at Simon Property Group locations within the last month: Carlsbad Premium Outlets in Carlsbad, California, Mall of Georgia in Buford, Georgia, Miami International Mall in Miami, Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, and The Avenues at Jacksonville, Florida.

They are a part of Bitstop’s drive to woo crypto beginners: individuals who shop at malls, do not know much about blockchain and have a bitcoin wallet.

The co-founder and CEO Andrew Barnard explained these places are similar to the old cliche: “If you build it, they will come.”

“Once you put these ATMs down and you give people easy access, the people go and figure out how to use it,”

With these new places, Bitstop is continuing to build out vulnerability among novices and handhold them through the process of purchasing their very first bitcoin. He explained the kiosks represent a gateway to first-timers.

He said individuals buy from an ATM within an investment, but also to then purchase on the internet or send remittance payments residence.

The average purchase is $160 bucks. And Barnard said traffic is particularly heavy around the 1st and 15th day of every month, which he explained is money back for many consumers.

China’s Digital Yuan Will Target Retail Payments First

Speaking in the Caixin Hengqin Forum at Zhuhai, former leader of the People’s Bank of China Xiaochuan Zhou said the nation will highlight the retail usage of electronic payment to the electronic yuan.

“There are two goals for international digital currencies,”

“The first one, which is also what China envisions is to develop digital payment and its use for retail system in the country, while the other goal is to cross-border payment for international financial institutions.”

According to Zhou, both of these aims will need different technical designs for the electronic yuan, and China may expand its capacities once it implements the electronic payment role.

Zhou said China is a challenging environment to try the new electronic money, and a country with a smaller population might be better because the cycle for money flow is briefer.

“In case there is something wrong, it will be easier to steer the boat into a different direction,”

Ripple Has Acquired MoneyGram For $50 Million

Ripple made the final payment to purchase MoneyGram at a cost of $4.10 per share, which is over a dollar per share of the stock’s recent price of approximately $3.00. The action first started in June 2019.

Ripple owns just under 10% of MoneyGram’s outstanding common stock.

MoneyGram plans to utilize this funding inflow to support its operations, specifically since it expands its usage of Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity product, the renamed xRapid payment system which uses the XRP cryptocurrency.

Since June, MoneyGram has started using XRP to run trades in Europe, Australia and the Philippines, and now transacts approximately 10% of its own Mexican peso foreign exchange trading volume.

In an announcement, MoneyGram chairman and CEO Alex Holmes said that the venture was “transformative,” noting that the corporation could settle trades “in seconds.”

South Korea Takes Legal Step to Stamp Out Unregistered Crypto Exchanges

South Korea passed a legal amendment to oblige assets exchanges to register with the  Financial Services Commission (FSC).

This change was made to align fight money laundering,  and it asks crypto exchanges to have so-called actual name virtual bank account – sub-accounts for consumers inside a market’s main account – to avoid falling foul of the laws.

The opposition lawmakers had voiced worries that exchanges without real-name digital balances would be made to shut, bringing additional contraction of the national cryptocurrency market.

In 2018, the FSC outlawed anonymous digital balances with the consequence that just four exchanges were abandoned with real-name digital balances through contracts with local banks: Bithumb, Upbit, Korbit, and Coinone.

Ukraine Plans to Tax Crypto Gains at Low 5% Rate

Ukraine’s parliament received a cryptocurrency tax draft bill.

Written by 13 members of the parliament, the bill defines crypto-assets as a “special type of valuable property in the digital form, created, accounted for and disposed of electronically,”, for example, cryptocurrencies, tokens and other forms are not defined in the draft.

“We are confident that the adoption of this [draft] law will create conditions for the launch of the virtual assets market in line with the legislation of Ukraine, taking into account the balance of interests of entities engaged in transactions with virtual assets and the state, which will get additional tax revenue from such transactions,” said the ministry.

If the bill passes parliament, the earnings from trading assets will be calculated as the difference between the buy price and the price received in the sale. Profits should be declared as “other” form of earnings, while reductions might not be balanced to decrease the whole financial result before taxation, the record states.

Crypto income will generally be taxed at the normal speed, which will be 18% in Ukraine. However, in better information for dealers, there is a first 5% rate on private income from the selling of crypto assets to get a five-year period after approval of the invoice (assuming it moves).

Revenue of crypto assets wouldn’t be responsible for value-added tax (VAT).

Tokenized assets would observe another tax program, being described as electronic assets certifying possession or non-property rights. In such cases, tokens are taxed in precisely the exact same manner as the products or services financing them.

Michael Chobanian, creator of this Ukraine-based crypto trade Kuna and president of this Blockchain Association of Ukraine, stated he considers the law would operate, however, there are additional challenges confronting the business which have to be dealt with.

“If the National Bank of Ukraine doesn’t allow banks to open accounts for crypto businesses in Ukraine nothing for the industry will really change,” Chobanian said.

The ministry lately declared a partnership with all the Binance cryptocurrency market for help developing regulations for crypto from the nation.

Coinbase has added support for 5 new crypto options to its Visa debit card

Coinbase declared that holders of Coinbase Card are now able to spend XRP, basic attention token (BAT), augur (REP), 0x (ZRX) and stellar (XLM). These add to the already available options: bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH) and litecoin (LTC).

Coinbase clients in Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Poland, Romania and Sweden have also been given access to Coinbase Card.

Zeeshan Feroz, CEO in Coinbase UK, said in a statement:

“By more than doubling the number of assets our customers can spend on Coinbase Card, as well as introducing the card to 10 new countries, Coinbase continues to help drive crypto’s role as a utility, and not just an investment.”

The Coinbase Card has been introduced back in April to function both the U.K. and EU states. Coinbase issues it “immediately” and converts cryptocurrency into fiat money when clients make a trade using the debit card.

According to the company, the card may be used anywhere that accepts Visa. There are charges for ATM transactions over the value of $200 – 1% domestically and 2% international, and fees for some trades.

Coinbase also supplies an iOS and Android program which allows users to create Visa obligations on their cellular devices. The Coinbase Card is issued by Paysafe Financial Services Limited, a company approved by U.K. regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority.

Will Bitcoin disappear? How could BTC disappear and what would happen after that?

Will Bitcoin disappear? How could BTC disappear and what would happen after that?

Have you ever wondered yourself what would happen if Bitcoin disappeared? And in what context would this happen? Some crypto enthusiasts have considered it and came up with some scenarios. How can Bitcoin disappear?

Which one will it be? Could be all of this, or could be none. But the answer may lay in the general perception of Bitcoin.

What is the crypto community saying about the future of Bitcoin?

Before committing to a product, such as Bitcoin, or any other product people might use in their day to day life, they should and will ask themselves: Do I really need it?

In the particular case of Bitcoin, the question is: Do I really need it for my finance?

Most people have come to accept the way traditional financial institutions work and have invaded their lives as long as they get what they want out of it. Even with the creation of Bitcoin, the hype has now faded and do not care so much about this intrusion of privacy.

Some believe that the mass (that is aware of Bitcoin) is “losing the vision for Bitcoin” and that there are not a lot of people supporting it and believing in it. And for the future of Bitcoin, this can be a problem. Possibly, a problem that could lead to its disappearance.

Other are more inclined than ever to use crypto, due to the financial system which has shifted over the past 11 years since the creation of Bitcoin. The increasing number of restriction seems to be detrimental to fiat and convincing some that Bitcoin has a future and it waits for them.

The lack of vision might be also a transition state until another financial crisis hits, which can be happing any day now.

Overall, the engaged crypto community remains optimistic and hopes for the best.

What could make Bitcoin disappear?

One of the possible future scenarios is that Bitcoin disappears. How is that even possible?

Well, imagine Bitcoin no longer on the top of the cryptocurrency market. The competition is getting bigger by the day. And what if Bitcoin gets ‘substituted’ by one of these altcoins?

Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, Litecoin are just a few of the cryptocurrency that could substitute Bitcoin.

BUT… the community believes that this will not happen. “It would have happened already” is what the enthusiasts believe. The reality is that at the moment, there are many other coins with lower transaction fees and on faster blockchains, and yet, people seem to prefer Bitcoin. Why is that?

Bitcoin is the coin with the largest transactional volume. It is the one coin listed on every single crypto exchange in existence and anyone in the crypto community will accept Bitcoin for a job. Simply put, Bitcoin is desirable.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and with each year that passes, it seems to be getting stronger.

So if you are afraid that Bitcoin will be substituted by another coin, then this is the time to observe what others are stocking up. And do the same. But judging but the volumes, there is no sign something like this will happen anytime soon.

Andrew Yang for president? Meet Andrew Yang, the 2020 US Bitcoin-friendly presidential candidate

Andrew Yang for president? Meet Andrew Yang, the 2020 US Bitcoin-friendly presidential candidate

Andrew Yang for president? Andrew Yang, a Democrat candidate for the 2020 US presidential elections, brought more attention upon himself after he announced that he would be accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency donations for his presidential campaign.

Who is Andrew Yang?

With cryptocurrency being an increasingly more interesting subject to the world, Andrew Yang took advantage of the momentum of Bitcoin and the topic of blockchain in the US and announce it to be a possible source for his campaign.

While some see this in a not so favourable light, considering to be a strategic move to gain popularity, other Bitcoin enthusiasts took a look at his social media channels, to observe that Yang has been talking about Bitcoin since 2013. So, who is Andrew Yang?

Yang is an entrepreneur. Andrew Yang is the founder of a non-profit organisation, VFA (Venture for America, which has as its primary goal to “Mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs.”

It is worth mentioning that all this attention Yang received after announcing he will accept crypto as donations for his presidential campaign came in a rather hostile environment. You see, the regulation for blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies in the US are not what the crypto enthusiasts have hoped for. But have his statements for far made anyone want Andrew Yang for president?

Is Andrew Yang a real Bitcoin supporter?

We all saw the recent tweets and campaign messages Yang posted on his Twitter. They are all basically a variation of “Let’s build the future together”. Some of his advocates applauded him, and added: “Nothing stops crypto, even Presidential candidates are jumping on!”. But, as some followers rushed to ask in the comments, is Yang, a faithful cryptocurrency supporter? And aren’t cryptocurrency donation harder to trace and hence, could be from illicit funds and could come from foreign lands?

Even so, the 44-year-old Asian promises to bring the wind of change in American politics. In his defence, there are tweets from 2013, about the price of Bitcoin:

This is proof he knows and talked about Bitcoin before most of us did, but just because he is talking about cryptocurrency, does it mean that his policies are sensible? The topic of Andrew Yang’s candidacy is controversial, and winning the electoral race against Trump might need a bit more help from the minorities. And usually, minorities are too busy with their day to day struggles to know enough world-changing technologies.

But for now, the only thing clear is that Yang hopes to fund his presidential campaign with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

How can life sciences and healthcare industry benefit from blockchain applications?

How can life sciences and healthcare industry benefit from blockchain applications?

Medical records, intellectual property clinical data and supply chains can all be improved with the power of blockchain. Life sciences and the healthcare sectors can be one of the main beneficiaries of blockchain technology. So let’s dig in to find out how can life sciences and healthcare sectors benefit from blockchain applications and what are the main challenges?

What is the blockchain’s potential uses in the healthcare industry?

Given the sophistication of contemporary healthcare systems, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the prospective uses of Blockchain technology that, thus far, are greatest publicised at the financial services industry, are just now becoming evident for the life sciences and healthcare industries. Decentralized ledgers can increase transparency and security in these industries, offering patients control over their healthcare and this could also lead to lower prices.

The UK is open to the possibility of integrating blockchain into its systems. In January 2016, the Office for Science authorities released a study on the tech. The private sector is also embracing Blockchain.

Many pharmaceutical manufacturers and vendors (like Pfizer, Genentech and AmerisourceBergen) are partners at the MediLedger Project, started in September 2017, which intends to utilize Blockchain technologies to help establish compliance with medication distribution chain regulations like the US Drug Supply Chain Security Act.

In September 2018, Philips established the Philips Blockchain Lab and has partnered with Blockchain recordkeeping startup Tierion to analyze how Blockchain technology might be utilised in the health care sector.

How can life sciences and healthcare sectors benefit from blockchain applications?

In April 2019, the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Software was started, to promote the international government and growth of Blockchain engineering. Here are some real-life possible applications:

Medical documents

Since the Office for Science report indicates, medical records may be registered in a decentralised Blockchain instead of a central database. There might be a lesser risk of unauthorised access since the Blockchain would comprise protocols regulating how individual records could be retrieved and by whom. By way of instance, a secretary at a GP surgery may only hold the secret to access restricted information regarding a patient, like their name, though a physician would have a whole key allowing access to all medical data.

Medical records may also give patients full access to their own individual information. Patients may specify what treatment they need to get in various conditions or ask that particular family members be allowed to create medical decisions in the case of an emergency. In the same way, it might allow patients to document and upgrade their organ transplant options while providing medical professionals instant access to their option, which might help to avert the reduction of organs as a result of transplant window being overlooked.

Different projects are underway that are aimed at replicating some of those possible use cases. In the United Kingdom, the tech firm Medicalchain declared in 2018 a partnership with all the Groves Medical Group, a health care services provider located in London, to build a Blockchain platform pilot, targeted at providing patients with improved access to their medical records.

Public and private health programs normally use their own systems for monitoring each individual’s medical information. This might lead to fragmented information received by healthcare providers. A patient may authorise access to their individual records included on a Blockchain to all healthcare providers, both private or public, thus providing all suppliers with a complete version of a patient’s health information.

This isn’t quite as far-fetched as some may believe. In Estonia, a data safety startup, Guardtime, has announced a partnership with all an Estonian eHealth Foundation that will find it deploy a Blockchain-based platform to procure more than one million individual healthcare records. In the same way, IBM Watson Health declared in 2017 it had signed up a research initiative with the US Food and Drug Administration aimed at establishing a secure, scalable and efficient exchange of health information utilizing Blockchain technology.

Intellectual property

Proof-of-existence platforms have been designed to provide innovators with a tamper-proof means of storing encrypted data, allowing organizations to validate the date where they generated intellectual property, like patents. The time-stamped files can subsequently be utilized as irrefutable proof that an ingenious step happened at a specific time and before anybody else. Courts across the globe will, nevertheless, have to be convinced about the safety and veracity of those time-stamping systems until they set the required legal precedents.

Clinical information

If blockchain would be coupled with additional technological improvements including wearable technology and information analytics, it would enable pharmaceutical companies to securely gather more detailed medical information regarding patients in real-time. The health information uploaded into the blockchain could be assessed to identify patterns representing potential conditions a patient could suffer, or be in danger, from later on.

Some pharmaceutical companies are currently time-stamping the outcomes of clinical trials as a method of providing proof of if clinical trial outcomes were acquired for inclusion in clinical analysis reports to regulators. Recording clinical trial results in real-time in an immutable Blockchain may make it even more challenging for clinical trial outcomes to be then manipulated by researchers, as an instance, in which the attention of a clinical trial is shifted to match the outcomes.

Supply chains

The ethics of the distribution chain is of utmost significance to any pharmaceutical producer. The Blockchain might be used to assign every batch of medication using a distinctive electronic serial number, with each batch being monitored as it goes through a set of trades and throughout the several phases of the distribution chain. Drugs go from the factory to the main warehouse, then neighbouring warehouses, then to the pharmacy and ultimately to the individual. Intermediaries throughout the distribution chain will then have the ability to confirm the receipt of medication and supply upgrades.By monitoring movements in realtime, it’ll be a lot tougher for counterfeit drugs to enter the distribution chain. This might be especially valuable in developing nations where it’s estimated that over 30% of medication are counterfeits. It might also ease prompt product remembers if flaws are then found.

Data protection

Quite a few use cases of blockchain in the life sciences and health care industries relate to this feature, monitoring and management of health care data.

But, applying a few of the needs of data security laws to blockchain-based software can be hard due to the inherent characteristics of Blockchain (see what’s a Blockchain?). Consequently, data stored on a Blockchain cannot be deleted. This will be problematic where the Blockchain operates in EU jurisdictions where the General Data Protection Regulation (679/2016/EU), which came into effect across the EU in May 2018, gives individuals the rights to be forgotten, erase data and correct data (see Practice note, Data protection and life sciences: impact of EU General Data Protection Regulation).

Holding private personal information only for the required amount of time is another challenge because the blockchain functions act as an immutable record. Some businesses might attempt to cope with this problem by keeping the private data off ledger in which the information could be deleted as needed, instead of holding the information on the ledger.

Likewise, another attribute of blockchain is that data can be encrypted to make certain the data stored on the blockchain is protected. But, it’s very likely that the encryption employed to a blockchain now is going to be made obsolete as more complex encryption methods are developed.

Again, an off-ledger alternative which enables encryption to be upgraded may help ensure that data stored on a blockchain stays secure as time passes. But while keeping data off ledger can help with these technical problems, it might not be suitable for many programs and use cases.

From the beginning, organisations need to give careful attention to compliance with data protection laws. In the life sciences and healthcare industries, this may entail the selection of sensitive medical information. It was seen how labs will answer the challenge of reconciling some of their inherent characteristics of blockchain with present data security laws. While technological solutions might help to address some of the challenges, it is still possible that regulators need to deal with the special challenges introduced by Blockchain technology.

Read more about What is Blockchain?
The hype is fading but blockchain has a lot of substance and uses to create a better world

The hype is fading but blockchain has a lot of substance and uses to create a better world

Throughout the last years, endless articles and research papers were published about blockchain and the’dispersed ledger’ technologies which have been keeping the tech audience actively engaged. But as the steam blows off, is there substance left in the theoretical uses of the blockchain technology?


In an OECD event about the blockchain technology, held in September, delegates discovered that there are more than 200 cases of this technology set up in public services globally. The illustrations supplied by Marcos Bonturi, the OECD’s manager for public governance, added Mongolia’s use of a blockchain to authenticate medicines (as a method to fight off the 40% of fake pharmaceuticals available in the nation),  and Italy’s system which monitors the academic qualifications.

Now that the online has the option to have transparent transactions, and which makes it impossible to change records already created, the blockchain technology has proved valuable in cryptocurrencies, in which they supply an indisputable record of possession.

And software is emerging in public agencies, stated Bonturi: a blockchain is assisting the homeless to access get public services in Texas, while in Ghana the government is working with private partners to construct digital territory registries. A blockchain-based property registry is currently working nicely in Estonia, he added, and states such as Sweden and Chile are expecting to adhere to a similar concept of the Baltic country.

We will see more developments in the near future, and according to a paper from OECD: “Digitisation is viewed as a new source of growth, efficiency and relevance in today’s increasingly digital world.”

By supplying much more transparency and traceability for the contents of trucks and boats coming at national boundaries, blockchain could enhance safety, tax earnings, record-keeping and efficacy, according to the paper.

However, there aren’t any cases of blockchain in performance on the planet’s boundaries: Boris Johnson’s discussion of “technological options” allowing the UK and Irish regulatory regimes to diverge without producing the demand for a physical boundary stays firmly in the area of science fiction.

Generally, however, talks of blockchain’s capabilities are more inclined to realistic projects. According to Barbara Ubaldi, the paper’s lead author and deputy head of reform of the public sector at the OECD in Paris, “We have moved past the hype”.

Blockchain moves past the hype

Barbara Ubaldi stated that the advancement in providing blockchain software in the public sector has come at a slow pace. There’s no solid evidence of development in several locations. Fundamental challenges are the “power construction in the public sector” and also an”urgent need” for closer cooperation with the private industry. Additional important barriers include a lack of high quality data, a demand for the production of shared standards, and inadequate interoperability between public sector IT systems.

According to the OECD paper, risk aversion is another barrier.

Two-thirds of the nations surveyed in an OECD study stated that they prioritise standardised options over programs built around business demands, with many nations preferring to utilize proven technologies instead of exploring untested options.

That risk aversion is evidenced by public bodies’ lack of assurance within the regulatory atmosphere. “Regulators are behind the curve” on establishing rules governing issues like the use of information and the security of citizens’ privacy, states Bonturi, asserting that lots of nations lack the type of regulatory framework needed for blockchain to progress past well-meaning but small pilot strategies. The states that may advance the quickest, Bonturi adds, are those who provide the “path of least resistance” with regard to regulatory hurdles.

How to move ahead

Nonetheless, there are bright spots in certain nations, providing useful courses for civil servants everywhere. The OECD report praises the debut from authorities such as Australia, Estonia, New Zealand and the UK of electronic marketplaces, which facilitate the procurement of innovative digital technology and the commissioning of small providers.

Considering that the 2014 launching of the UK Digital Marketplace, the OECD states it has observed over £4.3bn (US$5.5bn) value of contracts pass, with almost half of that going to small and midsize enterprises. This has been followed in the UK this season from the debut of SPARK, an innovation market that allows public business clients to access the newest technology.

Stronger cooperation with the private sector may also accelerate advancement. Chile, Panama and Latvia are among the nations that have encouraged public-private cooperation on pilot schemes analyzing emerging technologies. And Estonia has supplied a “sandbox” environment for tech businesses to work on solutions and applications.

To realise the entire potential of blockchain, universally-transparent structures and authorities might need to accept that lots of blockchain programs are best directed by sectoral bodies or private businesses. Lots of public business blockchain experiments have followed a centralised, government-led strategy, as shown by a recent analysis from the EU Joint Research Centre, together with officials claiming the majority of the decision-making abilities. But among the tech’s key advantages is its ability to give accurate, confirmed information to everybody involved within the field of action; and if they lack the ability to make decisions utilizing it, a lot of blockchain’s potential wouldn’t be unrealised.

The EU Joint Research Centre report contains an example of a Maltese authorities project, which had started in 2017, and was made to verify academic qualifications. The ‘Blockcerts’ permits the production, issuing, seeing, and confirmation of certificates via blockchain.

It enables easy integration with existing instructional record-keeping systems and offers complete ownership of the documents to users using wallets. Using this system will actually save money, as requirements to inspect certification copies or transcripts are no longer needed. This past year, Italy started using the identical ‘Diplome’ program on a bigger scale to validate academic qualifications.

Blockchain has an identity

The OECD centre’s report points out that the blockchain may be expanded to authenticate different kinds of identity and certification, noting that Malta is investigating its use to check the identity of refugees in public service delivery. The most important barrier to wider adoption, researchers say, is too little consistency between nations’ legislative and regulatory frameworks, which emerges from the growth of internationally-accepted blockchain identification systems.

So blockchain is starting to come across real programs in public service delivery. And these, of course, are those who best match the technology’s attributes: providing international visibility of transactions and agreements between people, blockchain can offer certainty and clarity for those active in a business — government bodies one of them.

Presently, states Ubaldi, blockchain’s biggest potential lies in identification affirmation. A fifth of the planet’s inhabitants, the OECD states, are still with no legal or formally recognised individuality. So the chances are obvious but do not believe the hype.