The Santa Cruz County in North California wants to adopt blockchain to streamline government processes.
County officials made the disclosure following a meeting from the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. At the meeting, attendees voted in favor of the government experimenting with blockchain-based digital wallets based for government services.
The aftermath of their decision led to the launch of a Digital Wallet Pilot Project to explore the viability of the move in partnership with blockchain infrastructure firm HUMBL Inc., which will be in charge of developing the digital wallet with the County Administrative office expected to give an update to the Board on the development in September.
The county noted that the digital wallet offers several use cases, including bicycle and RV Parking registration and the functionality of emergency notifications for users. During the pilot, the county might be willing to explore the use cases of park facility registration, pet licensing, and over-the-counter building permit distribution.
“We believe the value of digitizing paper documents, records, and services is an important step forward for the convenience of Santa Cruz County residents and improving equity and access for our community,” Zach Friend, a supervisor for Santa Cruz County, stated.
While details of the cost for the pilot were not made public, HUMBL Inc. confirmed that it had granted the county an “indefinite license” to use the technology. The firm stated that it would bear the costs stemming from hosting-related infrastructure for the duration of the pilot with the county General Fund and the Internal Service Fund will cater for county staff time.
Although the project elicited widespread reactions from blockchain enthusiasts, critics have poked holes in it for alleged violation of privacy rules. However, authorities remarked that HUMBL would only have access to the “number of times the app was downloaded” with Apple devices given the option to opt-in to share the information.
Blockchain doing the Herculean climb
Blockchain is slowly making its way to become the foundation of government processes around the world. The greatest levels of adoption of blockchain can be seen in Southeast Asia, with India and the Philippines leading the charge.
India announced that it expects a 46% adoption rate for blockchain adoption before the end of the decade, with municipal and state governments turning to the technology to streamline processes. In the Philippines, blockchain has been used to substitute paper documents in the maritime sector while private firms are turning to the offering to create digital IDs.
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