There’s no shortage of acronyms in academia – its RIDDLED (not an acronym, just capitalised for emphasis) with them! I was thrilled to chair the BLING conference – the mid term of the EU Interreg North Sea Region project on Blockchain in Government, where we discussed use cases of blockchain and DLT adding value to citizens’ life across Europe. In the wrap up, I reflected that the current situation of Covid-19 has accelerated a second era of digital transformation for public services from government. “Foundational to this transformation innovation is blockchain, a distributed platform that can reshape business and recast the old order of human affairs for the better as we have heard today”. I concluded with a challenge – “now’s the time for government leaders to acknowledge our new digital realities and develop a comprehensive framework for achieving prosperity, justice, sustainability, social cohesion, and good government. To do this, governments must become more knowledgeable about technologies such as distributing platforms like blockchain. We need more case studies, more facts, more evidence about the successful implementations. We need to keep accelerating and de-risking the deployment of blockchain-enabled services in government. Please BLING use cases, keep on proving and profiling the positive outcomes, impacts value and benefits of blockchain in the public sector”.
This week I was part of a showcase in The Scottish Parliament of projects supporting farmer-led groups. MSP Angus McDonald and the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Ben MacPherson MSP heard about 5 projects, including 2 SRUC was involved in, one of which was the DLT GF Oats project I led. Next month I’m looking forward to discussing with an expert panel whether we should sell our own personal data at the European Blockchain Convention. The panel will discuss how present data marketplaces are inadequate as they fail to satisfy all the desirable properties – fairness, efficiency, security, privacy and adherence to regulations. We will discuss how blockchain could enable a data marketplace solution that fulfills all required properties.