Posted: June 28th, 2022

Blockchain Technology In Public Sectors

Tittle of the paper: Using Blockchain in Public Sectors

Outline of the paper:
1- Abstract (around 150 words)
2- Introduction (around 250 words)
3- Literature review (around 25 words)
4- Definition of blockchain (around 250 words)
a. Examples of using blockchain in public sectors (around 250 words)
b. Methods and Tools in different subjects (around 250 words)
c. Advantages and disadvantages of using using blockchain in public sectors (around 250 words)
5- Main Requirements of using blockchain in public sectors (around 250 words)
6- Conclusion (around 250 words)

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Blockchain Technology In Public Sectors
Institutional Affiliation
Satoshi Nakamoto was the first to conceptualize blockchain in 2008 through Bitcoin, which is a digital cryptocurrency. It is typically a chain of blocks in which various transactions are recorded and maintained in a distributed public ledger over various computers linked within a peer to peer network. The public sector is one of the fields that have used technology in various matters such as financial activities, administrative functions, and legislative functions, among others. This research paper looked into how blockchain technologies have been improved in the public sector. Apart from the uses, the discussion will consider the methods and tools used, the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and the main requirements for blockchain to be used in public sectors.

The different advancements in the last century would bring the technology world to the Internet of Things (IoT), which involves various applications and services being deployed on top of an infrastructure that comprises numerous interconnected devices (Baqq et al., 2019). Nonetheless, the IoT infrastructure, which is extensively large scale and heterogeneous, would have to deal with challenges relating to the efficient management of resources and the provision of trustworthy and secure services. To this effect, the Blockchain technologies would emerge as a promising solution to deal with the challenges. This is because it allows a greater number of decentralized applications (DApps) by establishing a trusted environment that doesn’t need the services of intermediaries (Baqa et al., 2019).
Notably, the IoT is just one instance in which blockchain technology has revolutionized different sectors and industries. Satoshi Nakamoto was the first to conceptualize blockchain in 2008 through Bitcoin, which is a digital cryptocurrency. It is typically a chain of blocks in which various transactions are recorded and maintained in a distributed public ledger over various computers linked within a peer to peer network. There are several rules followed for affirming the block’s legitimacy and verifying that it is not modified maliciously. The present blockchain technology has algorithms and computational frameworks used to create, insert, and utilize blocks.
For the purposes of this research paper, the discussion will delve into understanding how blockchain technologies have been improved in the public sector. Apart from the uses, the discussion will consider the methods and tools used, the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and the main requirements for blockchain to be used in public sectors.
Literature Review
For the purpose of this research, existing literature would be consulted to understand the distinct conclusions on studies done related to blockchain technologies improvised in the public sector.
According to Jagrat & Channegowda (2020), some of the leading technology and e-government countries have improvised blockchain technologies within the fields of economics, health, power, democracy, government services, among others. Each of the fields ensured that the technologies would aid in having secure servers, had their services authenticated and validated, managed their financial settlement systems and the transaction governance infrastructure. Many government agencies have used blockchain infrastructure and services from the national blockchain startups for also testing different initiatives. A country such as Israel was focusing on building a blockchain ecosystem with the development of technologies (Jagrat & Channegowda, 2020). These governments have understood that their concepts are fundamental in their governance.
Nordrum (2017) notes that blockchain developments are still at their nascent stages; hence no party is fully aware whether blockchains will provide substantial results for the public agencies. Therefore, countries such as Dubai and a state such as Illinois are still trying out the best approaches to implement the technologies within their public governance sectors to achieve maximal benefits. Dubai’s city government is implementing a highly centralized approach to build a single software platform to allow the launch of blockchain projects (Nordrum, 2017). Illinois is adopting a more experimental approach where individual projects are tested to look into distinct types of blockchain platforms and applications. In the United States, the procurement arm is exploring blockchain technologies to hasten the review of IT technologies. Despite the criticism, each of these governments acknowledges that the technologies will be beneficial to the public sector and are willing to fully exploit them (Nordrum, 2017).
Blockchain Definition
The blockchain notion was introduced for being applied in cryptocurrency. According to Balaskas & Franqueira (2018), the blockchain is the distributed technology built under the peer to peer network principles and cryptographic primitives. These include asymmetric encryption and digital signature. Traditionally, the blockchain comprises a set of miners that undertake the validation for the submitted transactions, users that will send and receive the transaction (address), and also the bitcoin utilized in sending to the transactions (Mu et al., 2019).
The blockchain will allow the trust-less users to exchange information and record transactions with or for external interference and coordination. Its infrastructure permits the secure and an append-only database being built, and its reliance is on the consensus protocol for making decisions on the valid information that should be added into the distribution and shared across the network of participants (Balaskas & Franqueira, 2018). This technology will avail each member in the network with a trusted and decentralized proof of work, and in terms of applications, they utilize the public ledger, users hence have equivalent leaders to ensure transparency within the network.
Distinct applications will use the technology for storing value exchanges through transactions. Each transaction gets generated via a node that has been digitally signed with the past’s transaction’s hash and the destination node’s public key (Balaskas & Franqueira, 2018). The transactions are protected from being tampered with, and the particular nodes within the blockchain network will validate the block containing the transactions. The blockchain acting as a public ledger has actually facilitated the capacity of any blockchain analytic tool to look into the transactions affiliated with specific addresses (Balaskas & Franqueira, 2018).
Blockchain in the Public Sectors
Blockchain technologies now utilize blockchain technologies for actualizing the conveyed records in the realm of tax assessment. Through an established framework, the technology allows a streamlined process of administering VAT accordingly such that the right duties are paid to the government. Countries like Brazil have adopted the wait and see approach for regulating virtual currencies where they are treated as investments. To this effect, since they are investments, the respective gains get to be exempted from taxes (Khan & Syed, 2019).
For the Estonian government, blockchain technologies are used in administrative functions, specifically in the legislative domain (Khan & Syed, 2019). Estonia uses individual blockchains to open up the legislative administration and stay clear of any regular vitality wasteful instruments. Government information has been migrated into blockchain for the security of public health records hence preventing unauthorized records (Singh et al., 2018). Another innovation is the public notary for the e-residents such that each user on the platform has a transnational identity. This initiative was a motivation for the government and private agencies to provide services to the e-residents. Also, the e-voting for the e-resident shareholders, where the residents and citizens are allowed to engage in secure voting. The e-residency will affirm the being an e-resident shareholder, and the blockchain technology will enable securing the votes.
Blockchain technology would attract significant interest from the financial services industry that has both private and public players. India’s largest lender, State Bank of India, had rolled out beta launches of blockchain-enabled smart contracts. The bank was also planning to have the blockchain-enabled Know Your Customer (KYC) following suit in the exploration and building of blockchain solutions for banking (Singh et al., 2018).
Methods and Tools in Different subjects
To understand the methods and tools used in blockchain technologies, a six-layer reference model could be incorporated to demonstrate the typical architecture and the primary components.

Figure 1: The Reference Model for the Blockchain
The data layer provides the fundamental techniques for the manipulation of various information collected from distinct spaces, which is bundled into chained blocks stored in all the nodes within the blockchain network through a data structure of asymmetrically encrypted, hashed, and time-stamped Merkle trees (Yuan & Wang, 2018). The network layer will specify decentralized communication models and mechanisms related to distributed networking. Data forwarding and verification. An open and dynamic environment is normally involved in the blockchain scenarios, especially for the greater number of distributed and connected devices or vehicles. The participating nodes within the network are independent hence allowing the blockchain system to be under a decentralized emergent and bottom-up control (Yuan & Wang, 2018).
For the consensus layer, various consensus algorithms are used for guaranteeing data consistency and ensuring that the shared ledger has the fault-tolerant ability across the distributed nodes. The incentive layer will incorporate the economic rewards into blockchain technology. Data verification and the creation of blocks which are driven by the consensus competitions may be referred to as a crowdsourcing activity for the participating nodes that contribute to the computation power, the nodes are in actual fact individually interested against, and hence there are incentive-compatible mechanisms (Yuan & Wang, 2018). They have to be designed to ensure that their individual behavior of maximizing revenues is consistent with the system-wide objective of providing a secured and trusted ecosystem. The incentive layer is a fundamental component and a primary driving force of blockchain, especially for those in public blockchains.
The contract layer involves the packaging of different smart contracts, mechanisms, and algorithms together with serving as a high-level business logic for activating static information, money, or assets stored within the Blockchain (Yuan & Wang, 2018). The application layer will encompass the packaging of all possible application scenarios and use cases for blockchain. Blockchain technology is still growing, but numerous numbers of novel business models and use cases continue to emerge to build the decentralized disintermediated system with data security.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Blockchain In Public Sectors
The use of blockchain technologies in the public sector continues to present numerous benefits to its users within the public sector. One of the benefits is its self-sovereignty, where users get to be in control of their own activities (Rahardja et al., 2019). The interactions of the users within the blockchain are entirely up to them, and they choose what parts are to remain private or public. The second benefit is in the trust built from the decentralized public ledgers and cryptographic algorithms offered by the technology. The third advantage is transparency since each party does have the capacity to verify the transactions (Rahardja et al., 2019). Blockchain technology will authenticate the participants with information on the source of each asset and will keep trash of how the ownership will change over time. The fourth benefit is immutability, which entails the records, once stored, cannot be changed. This benefit corresponds to security in that it is able to maintain the properties of integrity, availability, and confidentiality (Rahardja et al., 2019). Disintermediation is another benefit which entails having transactions being p[erformed without the need for intermediaries. Mathematics and algorithms computation has replaced the need for intermediaries in various transactions; hence the participants will undertake them and transfer information without their presence.
As public sectors work to exploit the benefits presented by blockchain technologies, the systems also pose a threat to them of not being able to respond to their development, especially in the fundamentally challenging conventional approaches to the public sector regulations (Antipova, 2018). The technological world is advancing at a greater rate, which can be a disadvantage when the right resource share is not available constantly. Notably, governments are required to identify the proper balance between fostering innovation and ensuring security within their system networks (Antipova, 2018).
Main Requirements for using blockchain in the public sector
For blockchain technologies to be implemented in the public sectors, the right stakeholders need to incorporate various requirements or rather elements to streamline the adoption process. First, identity management, where all the users of the public servers will be registered in respect to their identities on the blockchain for managing their assets, ensuring security, sending and receiving credentials and authorizing transactions, and ensuring data is managed properly. The second requirement is the right regulations so that agencies can engage in the use of blockchain services such as tamper-proof block chain based smart contracts. There is a need for models that will ensure that the interactions are monitored, and digital and physical assets can easily be tracked. Also, the financial transactions will need to be tracked and reconciled transparently to ensure that costs are reduced tremendously and efficiency levels increased.
Blockchain technology is increasingly demonstrating its value across different sectors. Despite the public sector being a complex machine that is focused on governance and public service delivery, blockchain technology continues to address the numerous inefficiencies that were present in the present systems while improving their effectiveness levels. It is through the blockchain that matters such as voting, transfer of assets, and administrative functions are coordinated and streamlined. The technology is still in its infancy stages, and one could only imagine its potential in revolutionizing the public sector industry.

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