Blockchain for citizen services?

Jan 3, 2023·

2 min read

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From tamper-evident digital diplomas and the digital rupee to a Polygon-powered crime reporting portal — blockchain is making its way into citizen services. What could the use cases of blockchain look like across industries? “In financial services, remittances could be powered by blockchains, so would invoices and invoice discounting. Our health records could also go on blockchains, making our healthcare more efficient. Blockchain-based do-not-disturb registries could help us cut spam calls. All this would help in efficiency, privacy and security of citizens and users,” says author and Founder of The Tech Whisperer Ltd Jaspreet Bindra.

The Firozabad Police has just launched a pilot portal for FIRs to be put onto the blockchain (using Polygon Technology, a layer 2 on Ethereum).

This is HUGE for several reasons.

1. The data put into the FIR becomes immutable- even the police can't change it. This immediately almost nullifies the possibility of any FIR forgery/tampering- which has plagued our justice system for time immemorial. In other words, this means there is reduced scope for tampering with documents, evidences adduced and destruction of records.

2. This will allow all involved stakeholders (including the complainant) to track the lifecycle of the complaint more visibly and real-time. Plus, all stakeholders will be privy to the same information- no one can claim certain information was withheld or undisclosed as the blockchain ensures each stakeholder has access to the same copy of information.

3. Traceability and permanency of record- once data has been fed into the blockchain, not only is it immutable, it is there as a permanent store of record. This technological capability would thus disincentivize any underhanded activity that may occur later into the criminal proceedings. This is because any information input later on that is inconsistent with earlier information will be immediately identifiable. Thus, the incentive to maliciously act is reduced, if not eliminated through permanency, traceability and immutability.

However, this is more theoretical. The pilot will show us the issues that may arise in the process. Nonetheless, this is a big moment for India- and one of the vanguards of a new era powered by blockchain.

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