About this Research Topic
In the past years, researchers and practitioners have highlighted the potential of Blockchain Technology (BCT) and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to revolutionize government processes. Transactions and information exchange between governmental organizations (G2G), between business and government (B2G), as well as between governments and citizens (G2C), can be transformed by using blockchain-based applications. These applications can benefit stakeholders by improving the efficiency of information exchanges (e.g. leading to less fraud and fewer mistakes than paper-based registrations) and can contribute more widely to an inclusive society (e.g. by means of secure and user-controlled digital identities, access to data for all, rule of law and at the same time privacy protection). All papers should include detailed consideration of how the work contributes to ‘good’, and for whom.
BCT offers the opportunity to organize information exchange and retrieval between multiple government agencies on the one hand and with other organizations on the other hand: with private organizations, NGO’s, but also with citizens. These processes relate to information exchange at different levels of government, be it national, federal, provincial or at a municipal level. Blockchain-based applications can be an efficient and effective way to deliver government services by means of breaking down centralized information silos that exist between these organizations. Subsequently, BCT has the potential to create secure and immutable data processes that support services delivery in all kinds of governmental processes: land registry, identities, permits, procurements, taxation, health care provision, simplified access to data, maintaining a history of all transactions, data protection etc.
Digital innovations for information sharing and management in e-government require solid analysis of extant information architectures, processes and involved stakeholders to design the necessary digital innovation. Governmental organisations need a thorough understanding of the blockchain design principles, the possible applications in the domain of e-government and the exploration of governance mechanisms to deal with the limitations and challenges of the BC technology. Governance of blockchain technology is important for its use in both the public sector and the private sector. Governance can also be of the technology, which will typically be a responsibility for governments, and by the technology, which will concern both public and private sectors.
Case studies can contribute to this understanding and illustrate the potential of blockchain in G2G, B2G and C2G processes, highlighting the benefits it brings to transactions and information exchange in these contexts. We welcome original research papers, (literature) review papers and case-oriented papers that address the design and implementation of blockchain-based applications for information sharing and management in e-government. Submissions are preferably linked to empirical use cases, demonstrations, and evaluations of applications, and all papers should consider and emphasize for whom the use of these applications creates benefit or value.
This Research Topic seeks papers that cover (but are not limited to) the following topics in the domain of e-government:
• Use cases in a diversity of domains for B2G and G2G information exchange
• Building BCT-based platforms and infrastructures
• Interoperability issues: communication and cooperation between blockchain networks
• Standardization for blockchain architectures for public services
• Scalability of blockchain-based applications in public sector
• Legal aspects of smart contracts in public services delivery
• The role of Self-Sovereign Identities and its legal aspects
• Quality of data to address the garbage in/garbage out problem
• Governance and control in practice, including related legal issues of decentralized applications
• Organizational and institutional factors in the adoption and deployment of blockchain platforms and applications
Keywords: Blockchain Technology, Digital Government, Information Sharing, Public Service Delivery, Interoperability, Standardization, Governance
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.