Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Blockchain: A Panacea for Trust Challenges In Public Services? A Socio-technical Perspective

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-11, 12:20 authored by Ali Shahaab, Ross Maude, Chaminda Hewage, Imtiaz KhanImtiaz Khan
Trust in corporations, governments and public services has been steadily declining over the last few decades. L ack of transparency and auditability has been a key driver for this decline. Blockchain technology has been commended as a solution that can help with disintermediation and filling the consistently increasing trust challenges faced by the corporate and public sectors . Public services are seeking solutions that can help establish trust and increase transparency with its citizens and businesses are undertaking extensive business analysis to determine the need and effectiveness of blockchain - like platforms as the basis for transforming their existing platforms. Due to the decisive nature, most of the analysis results thus indicate that if a trusted third party is an option, then blockchain should not be used. Here we highlight the challenges and opportunities of establishing trust and how blockchain technology can help public services bridge the trust gap with its citizens . We argue that all information technology systems rely on a suite of technologies , thus blockchain should be added to the current technology stack rather than taking an ‘ all or nothing ’ approach. We also argue that analysing the effectiveness of futuristic technology like blockchain with industrial age methodology and mindset may limit the realisation of its impact on society and economy . Therefore, we propose to take a heuristic approach , where different properties of blockchain technology need to be mapped against different aspects of current business process with a futuristic view in mind. Taking Companies House – a government organisation that holds over 4 million UK - based companies ’ records – as an example, we demonstrate how certain business processes in Companies House can benefit from adapting a blockchain - based solution.


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Journal of The British Blockchain Association


British Blockchain Association


  • VoR (Version of Record)


Shahaab, A., Maude, R., Hewage, C. and Khan, I. (2020) 'Blockchain-A Panacea For Trust Challenges In Public Services? A Socio-technical Perspective', The Journal of The British Blockchain Association, p.14128.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Technologies

Cardiff Met Authors

Ali Shahaab Ross Maude Chaminda Hewage Imtiaz Khan

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