A newly-published report from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) details how blockchains might be effective in the delivery and tracking of public benefits.
The EU agency. report, released on April 2, covers an array of emergent technology areas, such as artificial intelligence, telepresence and robotics. Yet it is blockchain in particular that the report's author posits that "can help in the delivery and management of benefits."
"As in the case of the services sector, the use of blockchain technology is in an early phase of adoption in health and social care, where it has been used to pay benefits in cash and to monitor pension contributions," the report notes.
But as the report acknowledges, past experiments with this use case – including a trial in the U.K. – didn't bear much positive fruit given the costs involved. That trial also drew privacy concerns from outside observers, as reported by the Financial Times in 2016.
Still, that particular agency, the Department for Work and Pensions, said as recently as last August that it was still looking at distributed ledger tech as a possible solution for making timely payments to those receiving public benefits.