According to a report today in the Nikkei, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will commence testing a blockchain-based system for processing government tenders this fiscal year through to March 2018.
A typical government tender process sees a governmental agency issuing a call for small, medium or large businesses in the private sector, inviting their competitive bids for a range of projects. The Japanese IA and Communications ministry sees the process to be significantly enhanced with blockchain technology. ‘Instead of applicants collecting the tax payment certificates and other necessary documents from various government offices, for example, the agency issuing the tender would be able to gather the information electronically,” the report revealed.
Current centralized systems are expensive to maintain due to cybersecurity-related costs. Furthermore, the risk of a data breach even restricts the kind of information that is currently shared with or within different government agencies, Nikkei cites Japanese officials as stating.
Transparency and immutability are core traits of blockchain technology and it’s easy to see why the Japanese government is tapping the innovative tech for data sharing and recording. In a separate project, the government is working toward unifying all property and land registriesacross the entire length of the country, into a single ledger powered by a blockchain. Currently, some 230 million land plots and 50 million buildings are registered in various local municipalities, land and justice ministries – each who maintain their own property registries. A trial will commence in select cities in summer 2018 before a nationwide rollout over five years.
In 2018, following the testing of these two pilot projects, the Japanese government will also reportedly unveil a roadmap outlining its plans to integrate blockchain technology in e-governance systems in a marked move toward decentralization.