Distributed Ledger Technologies in Public Services

Report detailing Distributed Ledger Technologies in Public Services.


1. See section 7 "AWAY: International Blockchain best practice

2. See section 6 "HOME: Blockchain state of the nation

3. See "Industry Insights" section

4. Including the work of Merkle, Diffie and Hellman in the 1970's, and proposals of document time-stamping in the early 1990s

5. As far as the writers can discern, there is no agreement on what qualities are essential to call something a blockchain. For example, we'd note that:

  • Though Bitcoin is widely viewed as the first implementation of blockchain technology, many things called blockchain today bear little resemblance to it.
  • Blockchains are considered open, democratic and transparent, but in some implementations, transactions are not recorded openly.
  • Blockchains are often called "decentralised" but some variants may have only a few nodes.

6. The risk that a digital currency can be spent twice. Double-spending is a problem unique to digital currencies because digital information can be reproduced relatively easily.

7. One newsworthy example might be the Scottish Parliaments Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) bill.

8. According to global start-up investment analyst CB Insights, "Identity" has been a leading blockchain technology start-up capital investment area in 2016 and 2017 and was a target of $Millions of crowdfunded "Initial Cryptotoken Offering" (ICOs) in 2017.

9. OpenID and its successors are open standards and decentralized authentication protocols which allows users to be authenticated by co-operating websites eliminating the need for separate login systems with a separate identity and password for each.

10. Equifax suffered a massive data breach in May 2017, losing the driving license, social security and birth dates of 143 Million Americans. 209,000 credit card numbers were exposed as were the utility bill details of 400,000 UK citizens. In the aftermath the CEO, CIO, and CSO resigned.

11. This is how public authorities typically protect personal data with a local digital identity to allow individuals to gain access. The previous section discusses distributed identity schemes and the context of re-useable digital identity.

12. Referring to the 200-fold growth in the price of tulips over a 4 year period in 17th century Holland.

13. In fact ScotCoin was originally implemented on the "Counterparty" platform, where financial transactions piggyback on the Bitcoin network.

14. Online voting should be differentiated from electronic voting where paper ballot papers are often counted by automated electronic vote counting machines.

15. A distributed ledger which does not feature the block-batching-hashing-and-chaining characteristics which gave blockchain its name following Bitcoin.

16. The state eID system is based on a Public Key Infrastructure, with 2 factor authentications based on an identity smartcard or mobile device. In early 2018 a vulnerability was discovered in a code library utilised on the proprietary smartcard hardware used in some Estonian cards, which allowed private key material to be compromised. The vulnerability was addressed before any encryption and signing could be circumvented, but several lessons were learned, including reinforcement of the dangers of closed source implementations which hinder the process of testing for flaws.

17. E-residency is operated within the economic and entrepreneurial development organisation, Enterprise Estonia, the peer organisation of Scottish Enterprise.

18. Subsequently a blunt response to this announcement was issued by the Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank who stated that "No member state can introduce its own currency; the currency of the eurozone is the euro."

19. The small nation phenomenon could be attributed to sample bias, in that our research was opportunistic in its access to Government technology leaders, and we were limited only to shareable information.

20. https://blogs.ec.europa.eu/eupolicylab/portfolios/blockchain4eu/


Email: Alexander Holt

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