Canada: Policy Horizons Canada.. (2016). Blockchain technology: brief.


“A blockchain is a write-only database dispersed over a network of interconnected computers that uses cryptography (the computerized encoding and decoding of information) to create a tamperproof public record of transactions. Blockchain technology is transparent, secure and decentralised, meaning no central actor can alter the public record. In addition, financial transactions carried out on blockchains are cheaper and faster than those performed by traditional financial institutions. These properties are at the heart of this technology’s rapid expansion. Bitcoin was the first blockchain. It was implemented in 2009 to create the cryptocurrency bitcoin as an alternative to fiat money/currency (paper money or coins of little or no intrinsic value but made legal by a government). Blockchain technology presents a safe, transparent, rapid and affordable digital solution to many government challenges. It could facilitate payments, benefits distribution, identification, record keeping and certification to name a few. While the technology is only seven years old, the inherent nature of open source software allows for blockchain innovations to be rapidly and widely distributed. Waiting to see if initiatives will pan-out, instead of preparing for when such ambitions will become widely successful may prove to be a risky approach”–p. 1, 2.