Indonesia Turning to Blockchain Technology for Better Governance
May 5, 2018 by Akshay Makadiya
The world’s largest island country Indonesia is turning to blockchain technology to organize its broken government data system. As the data revolution wages on, governments are developing systems to maximize the effectiveness of relevant policies.
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Indonesia is spread across 17,000 islands, bearing a population of over 250 million citizens. Managing data of 250 million people through the traditional paper-based means isn’t going to cut it for much longer in the emerging Southeast Asian market.
Cue in: blockchain technology.
Lower Cost and Higher Security
Blockchain technology has the potential to encrypt and share datasets via distributed ledgers rather than a central data center.
As such, multiple documents such as ID cards, medical records, voting registrations, and driving licenses can be guaranteed on the blockchain, resulting in a more organized and cost-effective approach to storing and using immutable data.
Accordingly, government officials are looking to blockchain as a better alternative to Indonesia’s current Electronic KTP system, the country’s mandatory identity card program.
Indonesian have to carry a variety of government-issued cards, including the e-KTP, driving licenses, voting cards, and NPWP (tax id). In case one loses one of these government-issued cards, the process to gain it back is laborious. However, with the implementation of distributed ledger technology, the Indonesian government can form a digital storage of all cards to remove the hassle of carrying these physical cards.
Blockchain App for Tax Filing
Indonesian tech firm Online Pajak offers a blockchain-based app that allows Indonesians to share their tax data with required government bodies, e.g. the nation’s central bank and treasury offices. The system is more transparent and cuts down on the paper-based bureaucratic system.
Charles Guinot, co-founder of Online Pajak, said: “Today in Indonesia, there’s no proof you’ve paid.”
That could be changing soon if Guinot and company have their way. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
Australian blockchain solutions firm Horizon State is contemplating introducing a blockchain-powered phone app to allow citizens to vote on many of the government policies on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, as reported by Reuters.
Also, according to the Finance Minister of Indonesia Sri Mulyani Indrawat, to deploy domestic subsidies to those in need, blockchain could be huge in the country’s agriculture sector. Indrawat told Reuters:
“We want to use the technology platform to be able to identify those groups of people who need to get the benefit.”
Needless to say, Indonesia’s got blocktech on the brain.
Should more countries switch to distributed ledgers to build smart cities? Share your views in the comments section.
Images via Nations Online, New Mandala