IT Systems and Data Protection

27.04.16

Next step in government digitilisation is blockchain technology – Hancock

Blockchain technology is the next step in modernising government digital services, Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock said at a London digital conference.

In his speech at King’s Cross station ahead of the opening of the Blockchain Workshop, organised by Digital Catapult, Hancock warned that government “cannot bury its head in the sand” as it did with the rise of the internet.

He paid tribute to the role of the Government Digital Service in introducing one Gov.uk website, followed by the current process of ‘government as a platform’ to ensure that different government digital departments are integrated.

Hancock said that blockchain, a data-sharing system first used in the Bitcoin online currency, needed to be implemented to ensure that the digital data produced by collaboration itself was accurate.

He said: “Blockchains – distributed ledgers, shared ledgers – are digital tools for building trust in data.

“Rather than a single central authority demanding trust and declaring: ‘I say this data is correct,’ you have the distributed consensus of everyone in the chain, saying in unison: ‘we agree that this data is correct.’

“They bring with them built-in integrity and immutability. You can only write new data, nothing is ever removed or deleted.

“Now blockchain technology is not going to solve every problem, or work in every context. When a trusted body already exists, for example, that can hold canonical data, that’s often the best solution.

“But the fact that data held in the blockchain comes with its own history, and that history is a fundamental part of proving its integrity, this fact is enormously powerful.”

He added that the government had already committed to giving the Alan Turing Institute a £10m grant to investigate digital currencies and distributed ledger technologies.

Hancock told the software developers at the conference that the government were “relying on [their] brains to guide” them in the best ways to implement blockchain in government.

He said this could include “the Student Loans Company tracking money all the way from Treasury to a student’s bank account. Or the Department for International Development tracking money all the way to the aid organisation spending the money in country.”

Liam Maxwell, formally chief technology officer at the Government Digital Service, was recently announced as the UK’s first National Digital Adviser.

Warren Smith, interim programme director of the Digital Marketplace in the Government Digital Service, wrote for the latest edition of PSE about the development of a new digital framework.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Gov announces £10m Tourism Package for small businesses

03/07/2020Gov announces £10m Tourism Package for small businesses

The Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke, has announced a £10m Kick-starting Tourism Package today (July 3) to s... more >
Wakefield Council secures £1.75m from Towns Fund

03/07/2020Wakefield Council secures £1.75m from Towns Fund

Wakefield Council has secured a £1.75m Government grant (July 2), to support projects to immediately improve Wakefield city centre and Cast... more >
West Midlands secures £66m for 'shovel ready' projects

03/07/2020West Midlands secures £66m for 'shovel ready' projects

Up to £66m in additional Government funding has been secured by the West Midlands today (July 3) to begin a series of ‘shovel ready&r... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been th... more > more last word articles >
Gov announces £10m Tourism Package for small businesses

03/07/2020Gov announces £10m Tourism Package for small businesses

The Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke, has announced a £10m Kick-starting Tourism Package today (July 3) to support the sector in time for summer. Many co... more >
Wakefield Council secures £1.75m from Towns Fund

03/07/2020Wakefield Council secures £1.75m from Towns Fund

Wakefield Council has secured a £1.75m Government grant (July 2), to support projects to immediately improve Wakefield city centre and Castleford. The Council were chosen for the oppor... more >

the raven's daily blog

Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

23/06/2020Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

Evolution is crucial in any business and Public Sector Executive is no different. Long before Covid-19 even became a thought in the back of our minds, the team at PSE were looking at innovative ways to deliver its content to our audience in a more dynamic and responsive manner. We’re conscious to take the time to both prot... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues that community-led initiatives are a productive way of helping to solve... more >
Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

19/06/2019Aberdeen's green transport fleet attracting international attention

Aberdeen City Council’s hydrogen spokesperson, councillor Philip Bell, highlights the Granite City’s determination to play a leading ... more >
A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

13/06/2019A fifth of public sector workers have never received a thank you from the people they serve

A fifth of the country’s public sector workers say they have NEVER received a ‘thank you’ for doing their job as Public Service... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

public sector focus

View all News