Block chain http://localgovdigital.info/localgovcamp/This was a session I requested and big thanks to Alexander Galt for sharing his knowledge with us.
I’m not going to chance explaining how blockchain works, but it was very interesting to talk about what it makes possible and what that means:
- First of all forget bit coin and speculation. Yes blockchain is the basis for crypto currencies including bitcoin and yes if we invested early and bought a few hundred dollars worth of bitcoin we would now be millionaires. But, currency is just one use and it relies on the very high degree of difficulty in faking or forging a blockchain.
- Think self-managing contracts. The blockchain allows you to build in payment and transaction rules that can allow the money to ‘manage itself’. This might mean giving a person in need of personal care a bockchain grant which included all the rules on how it could be spent and with who. Providers engage with the blockchain owner and can draw out money against the rules and total approved sum. No need for a finance department processing a blizzard of invoices and payments. Although they would need to set up the block chain.
- Think self-reporting contracts. If you build customer feedback and reporting of social outcomes and value into the blockchain then you can have real time insight into whether you are spending money and achieving outcomes.
- Think self-managing contracts and social investment bonds. The blockchain can engage through an API type interface with external public or private data feeds. It might make and increase winter fuel payments based on local temperatures.
- Think a vastly reduced need for back office and back office case management systems. If the block chain self-manages the spend and outcome reporting then your back office job becomes one of learning and improving how you do things.
As well as a growing number of crypto currencies the banking and insurance sectors are looking at block chain as are many public sector providers. Their drives are massively reduced cost in administration and much greater transparency of money flow and outcomes.