BLOCKCHAIN FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND MUNICIPAL/REGIONAL ASSEMBLIES
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people interact, including how collegiate bodies operate, accelerating digitalization processes. Therefore the benefits and opportunities created by the use of the blockchain protocol should mark a turning point in the daily life of PA as soon as possible.
The large-scale adoption of blockchain technology would bring several advantages to the world of Public Administration. From a drastic reduction in time to more excellent monitoring of internal processes, the blockchain protocol would also seem to provide a solution to the problems of traceability, publicity and transparency that are typical of our bureaucracy.
WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN?
- DISTRIBUTED LEDGER
When we speak of the blockchain, we refer to a distributed digital ledger with a linear form: information is contained within blocks and every n seconds/minutes (depending on the blockchain) the last block of the chain binds cryptographically with the one that has just been created. The term ‘transaction’ refers to how information is entered into the blockchain.
- DECENTRALIZED MECHANISM
The control and management of this ledger are done via a decentralized mechanism, in which countless transactions are recorded in real-time, ensuring a distributed and horizontal form of data.
- IMMUTABILITY OF DATA
In addition, the information it contains may be pseudonymized or public, depending on the scenario. However, in all cases, once entered, it will remain immutable and cannot be modified afterward.
HOW CAN BE TRACEABILITY, PUBLICITY, SECURITY AND TRANSPARENCY BE FACILITATED?
Thanks to the blockchain, all data relating to documents, videos and agreements can be saved on a distributed register, enabling each citizen to independently verify and monitor the correct procedure of the bureaucratic process.
Thanks to blockchain technology, it is possible to prove to third parties that you are the person who saved the document/video by publicly displaying some metadata (public key of the purse) on your website or social channels. The public key is the tool that enables the user to be recognized by third parties.
Thanks to the blockchain, any data saved cannot be altered or manipulated by third parties and its origin cannot be repudiated (private key of the purse). The private key is the instrument that enables the user to sign transactions and therefore makes the recording secure.
Thanks to the blockchain, information released by the Public Administration can be validated and verified, its origin can be guaranteed and its movement and transformation can be controlled.
Per scrivere le informazioni all’interno della blockchain si utilizza un particolare strumento crittografico chiamato in inglese wallet (i.e. borsellino).
Il borsellino contiene al suo interno una coppia di chiavi definite come chiave pubblica e chiave privata. La chiave pubblica è un codice che rimane completamente pubblico e verificabile sulla blockchain ed è utilizzato per farsi riconoscere. La chiave privata è lo strumento che abilita l’utente a scrivere le informazioni, ma non sarà condivisa.
Entrando più nel dettaglio, prima di inserire un documento o qualsiasi file su blockchain, per questioni di privacy e costo, conviene trasformare il file nella sua versione univoca ed unica, il c.d. hash value o impronta digitale univoca, per verificare a posteriori che, a posteriori, il file non sia alterato in nessun modo.
Dedit.io is a web platform that allows you to interact and write on the blockchain in a secure and straightforward way.
How does it work?
It provides an account for the P.A. – or a personal purse – that can be used by the municipality or its operators to notarize documents or videos of assemblies easily and intuitively.
From the same portal, anyone will be able to go and easily verify that the documents in their possession are the original ones, unaltered and issued by the municipality or entity.
With the use of such a smart, simple and friendly procedure, the paradigm of accountability, of accounting for the actions of public authorities and their representatives, also evolves.
Why is it important?
Dedit makes it easier for municipalities to store valuable documents in the cloud in an encrypted and secure manner.
Based on what was said before, the document’s hash value is saved via blockchain, not the record in plain text. Due to its mathematical peculiarity, this does not allow any information of the original document to be retrieved (which is why it is beneficial for privacy).
Therefore, from the document, it is possible to calculate the unique fingerprint associated with it quickly, but it is impossible to go back to the original document from the latter. It will be important not to lose the original file from which this fingerprint was obtained.
Italian Law No. 12 of 11 February 2019, Article 8b
The storage of a computer document through the use of technologies based on distributed registers produces the legal effects of electronic time validation referred to in Article 41 of EU Regulation No. 910/2014.
Simplification Decree, d.l. 76/2020, converted into law 120/2020, art.26
“For the purpose of serving acts, measures, notices and communications, as an alternative to the procedures provided for by other provisions of law, including tax law, the administrations may make the corresponding electronic documents available telematically on the platform. (…). If necessary, also with the application of “technologies based on distributed registers” (…), the platform operator shall ensure the authenticity, integrity, unchangeability, readability and retrievability of the electronic documents made available by the administrations and, in turn, shall make them available to the addressees, to whom it ensures access to the platform, personally or through delegates, for the retrieval, consultation and acquisition of the electronic documents subject to notification”.