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The uncertain promise of blockchain for government

Blockchain remains a hot topic for digital transformation and innovation. In the private sector, blockchain has demonstrated disruptive potential through proven use cases. However, despite strong interest and greater awareness, blockchain has had minimal impact on the public sector, where few projects have moved beyond small pilots. At the same time, there is a growing scepticism and cynicism about public sector blockchain. This paper seeks to understand why this is, by analysing the latest research in the area and identifying and analysing government experiences with successful and unsuccessful projects. It provides early findings on beliefs, characteristics, and practices related to government blockchain projects and the organisations that seek to implement them, with a focus on factors contributing to success or non-success. Although blockchain has yet to affect government in the ways that early hype predicted, government decision makers will nonetheless need to understand and monitor this emerging technology. 

Published on November 16, 2020

In series:OECD Working Papers on Public Governanceview more titles