We know, all too well, that right now blockchain is being touted as the next ‘big thing’, surpassing the invention of the Internet itself, some claim. Don’t get us wrong, we too believe that the invention of the blockchain is truly remarkable and there will be irreversible changes to how the world works going forward, but we have been around the block a few times and like the Dotcom Bubble, there will be winners and more than a few losers. No hype. No unrealistic claims. It’s just how new technologies diffuse through our society.
Stoneblock is a simple but critically valuable application and an essential part of the e-government machinery and can be used by any and all e-government infrastructure that exists today. If you can spare a few moments, we will explain what our product is, what it could mean to your government’s digital infrastructure, and to your citizens who are provided with digital services using that infrastructure.
Stoneblock is the result of re-thinking e-government architecture from scratch.
At the heart of every e-government service, somewhere inside the myriad racks of servers, e-commerce services, databases, Internet connections, storage devices and other componentry; lies information that matters critically to citizens.
It may be a national ID, a business registration, a land title, a life-event certificate, a passport – whatever the information may be, it is secured by complexity: a mesh of layers of networked hardware and software components working together, apparently unbreakable, until someone makes a special effort to break in. Then, even the smallest vulnerability releases havoc.
Stoneblock uses the blockchain to harden the digital registry – the location of the most critical citizen information – while also making it available for sharing based on the digital identity of the government agency who is responsible for managing the information, the officer who interacts with the citizen and how the citizen permits their information to be used.
Stoneblock uses the power of the blockchain to securely manage all of this complexity in a single cross-government application. One application, unbreakable because of the uniting of cryptography and the Internet, to manage all citizen information.
Stoneblock is efficient and low-cost because servers, staff, facilities – the entire database layer for critical information in the e-government infrastructure – is secured with none of the same complexity as we use today. Stoneblock uses a private and fully permission-ed Ethereum blockchain meaning every record on it is attributable to a person with a known identity, solving the national ID problem at the same time.
Stoneblock information is private because a citizen’s information, once the government has verified it and issued their ‘document’ on Stoneblock, are the only ones who can access (or delegate access) to the information. It is virtually impossible to hack because of the use of cryptography at the lowest level of storage of information and because the distributed nature of the blockchain means there may be thousands of secure copies of the information located throughout the government.
WHAT IS BLOCKCHAIN?A FIVE-MINUTES-OR-LESS EXPLANATION
Blockchain, also known as distributed ledger technology, is a new way of recording and sharing information that is set to fundamentally change how we transact with each other over the Internet.
Recording information on a blockchain has the potential to remove middle-agents from transactions of all kinds, improve transparency over information normally held by a centralised authority, and to create trust between parties who don’t know each other.
Blockchain technology combines the open nature of the Internet, with the safety of strong cryptography, to provide everyone with a safe, fast, and low-cost way to verify important information and to establish trust between parties without requiring a central authority.
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