BBC: UK government testing blockchain

posted over 3 years ago
The UK government has quietly launched experiment using the technology behind the Bitcoin - and it could prove hugely controversial. That is because the trial involves the payment of benefits and could conceivably involve very sensitive data being made public - or at least that's the concern of some critics.

The Department of Work and Pensions started this experiment in May and it will run for up to six months. It's designed to look at how the technology might help benefit claimants manage their money. Up to 24 welfare claimants will use an app provided by a company called Govcoin to track their spending.

The most serious concern is about the privacy implications of putting highly sensitive personal data on a shared ledger "which, by technical design, can never be changed or deleted even if it's inaccurate".

Another concern is that the trial - though billed as a way for claimants to manage their money better - could also be "a potentially efficient way for DWP to restrict, audit and control exactly what each benefits payment is actually spent on, without the government being perceived as a big brother".
Tags: blockchain, news