The postal service in Australia is looking into developing blockchain platforms to ease into the global acceleration of digital identity services.
Australia’s Postal Service Sees 3 Major Use-Cases
Announcing the news at the Technology in Government conference, Rick Wingfield, an Australia Post Accelerator partner, described three potential use cases that could help evolve the postal industry after disclosing earlier this year that it had been researching blockchain technology. The three use-cases include identity, e-voting, and registries.
In addition, Wingfield acknowledged ongoing experimentation with distributed ledger protocol as part of the R&D effort. The Australia Post Accelerator partner believes this technology can improve government by implementing digital identity technologies.
If we’re going to successfully digitize the economy and the hard parts of the economy that haven’t been digitized yet the hard things like health, education, and government services, those things require trust. If we’re going to digitize some of those things, then we need to know someone is who they say they are.
The process of managing identity reports with paperwork and software is cumbersome and costly, Wingfield continued. He explains that physical paperwork currently processes a quarter of the Australian Post’s identity verification. However, the government entity is looking to make this identity data private as a public blockchain may be a honeypot, according to Wingfield, who explained:
When we think about the blockchain, we don’t want to take people’s private information and put it on a public ledger because that would very quickly become a honey pot for scammers and hackers, and even if that data was encrypted that’s probably not a good idea.
Australia Post does believe the protocol can advance the citizens control over their digital identity. A two-key architecture could give citizens access to their encrypted data, while government services hold the other key, said Wingfield.
The organization is also looking into e-voting services verified by a blockchain protocol. Wingfield explained that by using the technology, citizens’ votes would be private and unalterable.
“You can’t reverse engineer who somebody voted for and it’s immutable and provides a ledger of all transactions,” the postal executive said.
Blockchain Industry Growing in Australia
Blockchain technology is doing quite well in Australia, with increasing trading volumes on LocalBitcoins. Moreover, the leading stock exchange in the region is also experimenting with blockchain technology. In the beginning of 2016, Australia’s largest stock operators, ASX, struck a partnership with Blythe Masters’ Digital Asset Holdings.
However, these two companies will be focused on the technology’s potential in trading and settlement instead. At the same time, Australia Post Chief Executive, Ahmed Fahour, sees wider applications beyond finance in the future.
“A lot of people are thinking about blockchain from a financial services point of view but the reality is it has much wider applications,” Fahour said back in March.
What do you think about Australia Post using blockchain technology for e-voting and identity services? Let us know in the comments below!
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