UK Government Considers Expansion Of Blockchain Benefits Trial

UK Government Considers Expansion Of Blockchain Benefits Trial

The UK government considers whether to extend a benefits payment trial that relies on the blockchain. The trial is used by the Department for Work and

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The UK government considers whether to extend a benefits payment trial that relies on the blockchain. The trial is used by the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) and was started last summer.

The trial was led by London-based blockchain and fintech start-up GovCoin Systems Ltd., now known as Disc. The aim of the project was to develop a more effective and tamper-proof technology to be adopted by recipients of the welfare system in the country.

“We are keen to see how the positive potential of this service develops and adds to our wider efforts to explore the uses of distributed ledger technology.”, said Barclays Corporate Banking vice chairman Jeremy Wilson, in a statement quoted by cryptocoinnews.com.

Now the government considers expansion of the trial as “the initial independent assessment of the small-scale trial has been positive.”, according to Conservative peer and parliamentary under-secretary for the Department of Work and Pensions, Lord Henley, who spoke to Public Technology (publictechnology.net).

“We have not yet decided to move on to a fuller and larger trial.”, Henley added. Yet, he elaborated that, if the government did so, it would ensure that there were “the appropriate checks and balances” in place, as the publication noted.

However, the Blockchain Benefits Trial has met some resistance. The main concerns were about the way data would be handled and the government`s potential control over the claimant`s funds.

In response, Henley said: “[We] will have no access to it in any further trials we look at. We want to continue to keep it like that. Obviously, information will be [available] to Disc, but that will be protected by data protection principles.”

Fellow Conservative peer Chris Holmes warned that the government needed to have a “clear, well though through and evidenced pathway for moving from pilot to scale”.

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