Why Local Governments Aren’t All Aboard the Blockchain Train

Most local governments are not racing to adopt blockchain technology, currently in its early stages of development.

Blockchain functions as a transaction ledger that can only have “blocks” of information added but not altered. Cryptography ties new blocks to preceding blocks in a chain by having hundreds of computers and servers in the network solve the same mathematical proof (mining) in order to validate the transaction.

Reports of people investing in cryptocurrency scams (ex. 51 percent attack) where hackers accumulate 51 percent of a central processing unit power in order to rewrite a transaction history, has raised concerns about blockchain.

Local governments have expressed interest in private blockchains like the IBM Hyperledger because it is a permissioned network where participants agree on the party doing the mining. In addition, local governments have used blockchain with smart contracts where the terms of the agreement are coded into a blockchain and self-executed.

An additional concern is that a single transaction uses as much energy as the average U.S. household uses in a day.

Summarized from nextgov.com

 

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