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How Argentina wants to use blockchain to transform its public services

Alex Robbio


January 10th, 2019

 

Blockchain continues to gather interest from executives, but in many cases the challenging part is finding ways to actually implement the technology. This has caused some observers to question whether blockchain is yet mature enough for business implementations. It’s for this reason, that I want to share the news of what is happening in Argentina and the creation of the Blockchain Federal Argentina (BFA) project. It’s a fascinating example of different organizations coming together to build a blockchain-based platform, which could have major implications for the public sector.

The Argentine Internet Chamber of Commerce (Cabase), is leading the project together with other public, private, and academic organizations in the country (particularly NIC and ARIU). Still in its early stages, this is not just a theoretical idea either – it is underway. The code and technical documentation are already very detailed. Belatrix is part of the initiative and will be participating with one gateway node.

The blockchain project aims to provide a platform that enterprises and public agencies can use to improve their processes and operations, and help them be more transparent.

Public and private institutions are already starting to migrate over to using the platform. We’re seeing institutions changing their processes in order to use it and explore its benefits. For example, organizations are using it to improve how they validate the authenticity of documents. Universities want to use it to verify academic records and test results. Government ministries plan to use the platform to ratify technical documentation. The Argentine coast guard wants to use it to validate the technical documentation of boats and shipping vessels.

This is a bold move by Argentina, using the latest technology to ultimately provide a real benefit to citizens and an improved public sector. Amidst a lot of attention on blockchain, it’s great to see cases like this, that go beyond a headline grabbing press release. As mentioned, in developing the platform, Cabase is bringing together diverse organizations from different sectors. This diversity should help ensure that various agencies and governmental agencies adopt the platform.

Adding to the organizations involved, the Argentine Chamber of Industry of Software and Information Services (CESSI) has joined the consortium – thus bringing together numerous technology companies into the initiative. Along with Belatrix, many of our fellow tech companies in Argentina are involved.

It’s a great example of attempts to build public, rather private blockchains. In a report earlier this year, the OECD found an explosion in the number of public sector blockchain initiatives, occurring in countries throughout the world, from Europe to Asia, to Latin America. In Argentina, which unfortunately has seen corruption scandals in its government and public sector, a public blockchain can help ensure transparency and efficiency in its public sector, and ultimately deliver better services to citizens.

 

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