Japan to trial Blockchain for government tenders

Government to share broader vision for the technology in FY 2018.

The Japanese Government will test a Blockchain system to process tenders, as a first step towards wider use of the technology in its digital services. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will begin trials this financial year by end March 2018, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Businesses participating in tenders will no longer have to gather and supply documents to the government. Instead, the agency issuing the tender will pull the information together electronically from other agencies. The trial is part of a broader vision to use Blockchain to secure and cut costs of digital public services. In the next financial year, Japan will develop a plan to use Blockchain platforms across digital services for citizens and businesses. The traditional centralised servers used to store government data are costly to protect against cyber attacks. Data sharing with and between government officials is also limited due to the risk of data theft, Nikkei reported Japanese officials as saying. On the other hand, Blockchain is a distributed ledger system that records information on many computers across the globe simultaneously. Any changes to the information are permanently recorded. A number of governments are trialling this technology to store information and record transactions. However, there is yet to be a large scale implementation in the public sector. In Singapore, it is being used to verify trade transactions and education certificates. UK plans to begin controversial trials in its welfare payments system. Meanwhile, Dubai plans to move all government documents on a Blockchain platform by 2020.