The Crypto Mile - Cardano's Charles Hoskinson plans to 'radically' transform government services
Blockchain technology promises to create better government on a global scale. Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson tells Yahoo Finance's The Crypto Mile how it could 'radically' transform the future.
Imagine a situation where all of a government's tax revenue is open source and everybody can look at it and see exactly where the money is coming from and where it is going.
Imagine the archaic institutions of government that run our lives developing at the same rate of efficiency and efficacy as the mobile phones in our pockets.
Imagine a situation where all transactions happen transparently on the blockchain, the state of every account is visible and a revolution in open access where every member of the public can become an auditor.
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Cardano (ADA-USD) founder Charles Hoskinson spoke to The Crypto Mile about the potential of blockchain technology to radically transform government services across the globe, and even make them interoperable with each other.
As we merge into a truly global society, the blockchain can facilitate this interconnected world community and allow the secure transfer of data seamlessly and in a democratic way, where in the words of Hoskinson, "no one actor will have complete control over critical things and resources".
This is due to the transparent nature of the blockchain, as according to Hoskinson, it enables "the poorest and most vulnerable person in society equal access as the president of the US, and there has never been a time in human history that that has been the case".
Blockchains are transparent and publicly accessible to all and the Cardano founder described how the blockchain will allow government services to become digitised and deployed 'onchain' to form a new way of governance that is "radically transparent".
He described the burgeoning technology as enabling global regulation "without putting one nation-state in charge of everything, like the role the united states had in the 20th Century, and increasingly the role that China is trying to assert in the 21st century".
He added: "Instead you have a situation where there is no one entity in control and it is a better way of doing things with less friction, less fraud, less waste and abuse and more transparency and ultimately less consolidation of power".
According to the Cardano founder, governmental systems deployed on the blockchain could then be interoperable with similar systems in other countries, if they both are deployed on the same underlying blockchain.
Thus distributed public ledger technology offers efficiency, transparency and long-term security for land deeds, commercial and government voting, health data, educational qualifications, tax and legal information, and total traceability of products on supply chains, allowing for the Internet of Things.
Hoskinson illustrates the speed of development of blockchain technology in the last 13 years, "we've gone from very simple systems that could only push value around to these incredibly rich dynamic third-generation systems that have sophisticated consensus protocols, programmability and governance, in just 13 years of history, from just one chain to 20,000 chains, from one asset to tens of millions of assets".
Then he described its potential application for nation-states, saying "imagine if you could bring governance this way".
Hoskinson described a future where governmental bodies across the globe learn from each other and compete to become the most efficient and useful in the same way that Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy rapidly outperform each other.
This future would run on the blockchain and just as Moore's law observes that the number of transistors on a computer chip doubles every two years, systems of government deployed on the blockchain might evolve at the same pace as technological innovation.
The Cardano founder believes blockchain is the solution to upgrade the world and give governmental institutions "a Samsung Galaxy versus iPhone style of governance that we have never had".
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He added: "As consumers, we are used to the fact that every year we get a new better phone, as consumers, we are trained that these products will get better organically over time through competition. We don't have that in governance. There's no expectation that the central banking, the military or the way we run health care today is going to be better tomorrow."
Is bitcoin truly decentralised?
Hoskinson described the initiative and said: "One of the agenda items we have is to actually measure the decentralisation of different blockchains.
"We will create a lab at the University of Edinburgh, specifically for an index where we can measure different blockchains, whether it be bitcoin or Ethereum or Cardano to see which is the most decentralised."
The index would take into account how many miners there are validating the transactions on the blockchain.
Referring to how decentralised the bitcoin blockchain is, Hoskinson added: "Bitcoin (BTC-USD) has less than 10 major mining operations that control the majority of the hash rate of bitcoin. So although it is a big decentralised movement, with millions of people around the world using it, less than ten actors are responsible for maintaining it, is that decentralised or not?"
According to Sir Mark Walport, the former UK government’s chief scientific adviser, blockchain technology "has the potential to transform the delivery of public and private services and the potential to redefine the relationship between government and the citizen in terms of data sharing, transparency and trust and make a leading contribution to the government’s digital transformation plan.”
But, does blockchain technology contain substantial revolutionary solutions to our lives?
Others see blockchain technology as an empty buzzword with much more hype than value and point to the lack of blockchain-based applications having mass adoption across the world.
There is the argument that distributed ledger technology promises solutions to areas where there was never a problem, and for many systems, a blockchain is not necessary, and to use one would be more expensive and less efficient than the centralised system it replaces.
The decentralisation of data storage and transactional history still needs checks at the entry point when data is inputted into the ledger. Intermediaries are still needed to check the data is correct on input, as when information is lodged and verified on the blockchain it cannot be deleted.
Watch: The Crypto Mile: Episode 3 - How blockchain technology could usher in Web3