Blockchain and, more widely, the Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) have been successfully applied as promising techniques to achieve decentralized consensus, mainly in the business sphere. Their implementation bring promises of the improvement of security, efficiency, and speed in transactions and processes, which helps explain why so many government leaders are actively exploring its uses in government. Indeed, currently there is a lively debate for implementing blockchain and DLT into the public sector entities to conduct their operations (Government Office for Science, 2016) and research is focusing on topics like smart contracts, protection of intellectual property, identity management, electronic government as a service, land registry and so on (The Law Society, 2017).
Blockchain and DLT could reshape the way public sector entities and citizens interact with each other, providing not only effective and safe transactions, but also enhancing information transparency and accountability. These technologies are called to play an important role for secure decentralization in such emerging fields as Internet of Things, edge computing, social networking, crowdsourcing and next generation wireless communications, among other fields. Also, its advance should be further evolved in terms of scalability, privacy, efficiency, flexibility, tokenization and high dependability. All this could have an impact on organizational changes and on the transformation of processes into the public administrations.
This way, prior research, mainly focused on the business sector, provides strong evidence that blockchain applications could transform existing models and invent new forms of processes in a profound way. Therefore, while ambitious public sector entities are eager to get ahead of the game and adopt its disruptive potential, choosing the correct platform and adopting a clear strategy can be a key element in implementing blockchain and DLT into public sector. Nonetheless, despite the relevance of blockchain, DLT and tokenization into the public sector sphere, literature is not rich in references to these topics. In fact, we are in the infancy of these topics into this new arena.
Therefore, this mini track aims at exploring these issues, paying particular attention to the challenges and opportunities that blockchain and DLT bring for transactions using the tokenization process as well as for improving digital government, not only in terms of transparency and accountability, but also in terms of providing public services, including these technologies in some areas of the public sector operations like taxation, legal enforcements and legislation records, payments, digitized ID, cyber-protection, security and safety, and healthcare, among others.
As a result, areas of focus and interest to this mini-track include, but are not limited, to the following topics:
Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolívar is full Professor at the University of Granada. His areas of research are mainly related to information and technology in government and, among other, they include electronic and open government, e-governance, public sector innovation, smart cities, and public policy evaluation. He has authored numerous articles in international journals, among them we can highlight Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Money & Management, Government Information Quarterly, Public Administration and Development, Online Information Review, International Review of Administrative Sciences, American Review of Public Administration, ABACUS, Academia. Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, International Public Management Journal, Environmental Education Research, INNOVAR, Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, Electronic Commerce Research and Administration & Society.
He has been also the author of several book chapters published in prestigious international publishers such as Kluwer Academic Publishers, Springer, Routledge, Palgrave, Taylor and Francis and IGI Global, and is author of full-length books published by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Spain. In addition, he is Editor in Chief of PAIT Series in Springer, Editor in Chief of IJPADA and member of the Editorial Board of Government Information Quarterly. He is also editor of other international journals and books.
Svein Ølnes is a senior researcher at the Western Norway Research Institute. His area of research is eGovernment and the use of ICT in public sector. The recent years his research interest has been in blockchain technology and its application in public sector. He has published several papers and on the subject. He also teaches the course “Bitcoin, blockchain technology and the digital economy” at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. His interest in blockchain technology also led to an MSc in Digital Currencies from the University of Nicosia (2018).
Manuel Pedro Rodríguez Bolívar
University of Granada
Campus Universitario de Cartuja s/n
18071, Granada (Spain)
Western Norway Research Institute
P.O. Box 163