Illinois Eyes Blockchain for IDs and Public Asset Management


The state of Illinois is looking into utilizing blockchain technologies for their inter-government operations.

The Illinois Blockchain Task Force submitted a report to the General Assembly on Jan. 31, revealing that they are looking into the possible use of blockchain innovations to help reduce entitlement fraud, manage the details for resident identification, and tokenize assets.

As outlined in the report, a blockchain-powered system would allow locals to have better access to and store their identification details, such as driver’s licenses, tax records, and even voting histories in central nodes. With this set-up, the control of information is in the hands of the user, making it easier for them to share their personal information with various government agencies.

Says the report:

“This new model would reimagine the relationship between state and individual, as government would become the verifier, rather than the custodian, of people’s public service identity. Government would move from providing data storage to verifying identity, allowing users to store access to personal data securely on devices.”

Furthermore, the task force also advised that the blockchain technology, like the ethereum blockchain, could also potentially benefit the Illinois public sector once it is utilized to digitize assets like social benefits, municipal bonds, as well as tax credits. Transparency for every transaction will be improved and physically handling paperwork will be minimized. This also mitigates the potential for benefit entitlement fraud.

Another component of the research had the task force creating a published database, which tracks updates on other global trends involving the exploration of blockchain as a data management tool, as well as other ledger technologies for the public sector.

The report comes as part of the research efforts by the inter-government taskforce specifically mandated by the legislative house to investigate the potentials of using blockchain technology for public service. The task force was created in June 2017 and has enjoyed contributions from various government departments, including the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the Department of Innovation and Technology, and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).


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