The UK is exploring the use of a blockchain to manage the distribution of grants. Monitoring and controlling the use of grants is incredibly complex, and subject to potential fraud or abuse. A blockchain, accessible to all the parties involved, is a better way of solving that problem.
The UK government is experimenting with blockchain to make welfare payments. The move came after the UK Government Office for Science issued a report saying that blockchain could help the government reduce fraud, corruption, error, and costs while increasing data sharing, transparency and trust.
In 2016, the Department for Work and Pensions began a trial to use blockchain technology. Claimants can use a mobile app to receive and spend benefit payments, and with their consent, transactions are recorded on a distributed ledger to support their financial management. UK government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Mark Walport has highlighted in a report how blockchain can help in areas such as reducing benefit fraud, protecting critical infrastructure and registering assets.
Blockchain-as-a-service has been made available for purchase through the UK government’s Digital Marketplace. With this service, government agencies are free to experiment, build and deploy digital services based on distributed ledger technology.
- Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond block chain – A report by the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, 2016