Posted on 10-10-2016


Have you heard of a ‘blockchain’? It is the powerful enabling technology behind Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that enjoys a less than enviable reputation. But that does not mean we shouldn’t take blockchains seriously. On the contrary, it has big implications for the authority and reach of government and for others who make a living by being an authoritative intermediary to transactions. The opportunities for those who are envisaging new digitally-enabled policies, policy instruments and public services operating models just got enormously bigger.

Blockchain technology is a step in the evolution of the digital information economy. It could be enormously disruptive to many existing public and private sector business models and greatly encourage innovation. As did the internet, the World Wide Web and free/open source software, blockchains bring a potential shift in power away from historic control centres and out towards services users. That matters.

So what to do? For now, Socitm members should watch this space: look and learn, maybe experiment a little. It’s early days, but things move quickly. It may not be long before it is appropriate to include blockchain concepts and technologies in existing service redesign exercises or, more likely, in wholesale new policy instrument design.

More information?

Socitm Insight Programme

Andy Hopkirk  Tel: 01604 709456  E-mail:

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