Can the blockchain, a decentralized accounting system, really work in the highly centralized public sector?
There has been a fundamental shift in thinking about blockchain technology in the last year, and blockchain innovations are already providing solutions to long-standing problems.
Public sector agencies in particular are exploring its potential, according to Katrina Donaghy, co-founder and co-CEO of Civic Ledger, which focuses on civic applications of technology.
"In Australia, we are still at a stage of development, with government, industry, banks, academics and businesses exploring blockchain technology through proof of concepts," he says.
"There is still a long way to go, but let's move on from questions like" what is blockchain technology? "A" how can we start to explore its potential? " The federal government sends positive messages on blockchain technology Standards Australia is the secretariat of the international technical committee of the international standards organization for blockchain standards and is examining standards, definitions, rules and other elements of technology This will provide a clear decision-making framework on issues such as governance, jurisdiction and interoperability of technology.
"I believe this role of Standards Australia will be very significant in the long run," says Donaghy.
" Another key step is that the Australian Government's digital transformation agency is taking a lead role in the exploration of blockchain uses in the government. In our experience, their digital market is very useful for Australian start-ups trying to protect the government as their first customer. "
Donaghy also notes that the Australian Digital Commerce Association is collaborating with the government on behalf of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries, assistance in the design of policies, guidelines and legislative changes to encourage innovation in the 39; area
Problem solving with blockchain
In developing and adapting blockchain technology, Donaghy makes comparisons with the early days of the Internet when no one really knew what to do with it. Sometimes it was seen as a solution in search of a problem.
In a remarkably short period, however, the Internet has become a central part of working and social life. He believes that blockchain technology will follow a similar path.
"As the Internet, we have solved problems of scale, improving their use and imagining new applications," he says.
"There are thousands of very intelligent people around the world are working on building the blockchain infrastructure, most of which happens through open data protocols."
Donaghy claims that the blockchain has a special role in the public administration as governments look for ways to modernize their services along digital lines.  Blockchain provides a neutral place for the transaction, creating what Donaghy calls "a shared truth" of data.
This is crucial when governments take on the role of data authenticator and, through the rules, determine the allocation of resources and benefits.
He says that a change of thought will be required. Blockchain is not owned or governed by a central authority and the data is decentralized and distributed over thousands of computers.
Government agencies are inherently centralized, so managing changes in control issues and the future of work will have to focus on how technology is explored.
Peer-to-peer blockchain platforms
Donaghy points to a project that his company has delivered to the Australian government. The key question was how to improve information in the Australian water sector to increase participation and confidence in water trade.
Civic Ledger developed Water Ledger, based on the public blockchain, Ethereum. The blockchain enabled platform provides a means to verify all operations in the water and update the status registers in real time to demonstrate that a water trade has occurred, as well as showing the position of the trade.
A crucial part of the system is the "Tokenisation" of a physical good: megalithers of water.
"He showed how blockchain technology can deal with very complex problems involving many participants and a large number of rules – actually over 15,000 rules," says Donaghy.
"Water Ledger has become a key success story and is a case study of a peer-to-peer exchange platform that increases the transparency of activities across borders and jurisdictions."
Civic Ledger has developed similar solutions for other agencies, including IP Australia and the city of Melbourne.
The company recently won the FinTech Australia award for the emerging Australian Fintech organization for 2018, which Donaghy considers an important step forward.
"Being recognized by our peers and industry is a great honor, but we also see it as a signal to the government, industry and businesses that blockchain technology is a real opportunity to redesign economies and inclusive and democratic society, "he says.
a message to other start-ups that are creating applications or infrastructure blockchain which is an area where there are opportunities for success. "
- Key points on the blockchain  9659035] There are opportunities for start-up blockchain in public procurement.
- Blockchain is very suitable for trade that has many participants and complex rules.
- Nature in time real of the blockchain allows transparency and responsibility
- the decentralized nature of the blockchain will require changes in the way of thinking, particularly within the centralized organizations.