According to a report released by ZDNet on September 10, 2018, more than 140,000 Australians will exchange their plastic licenses for the newly implemented driving licenses through a service NSW mobile application. The new platform, which has been launched by the South Wales government in conjunction with Secure Logic Company, is a digital blockchain solution that will deliver secure immutable ledgers and decentralized transactions.
This licensing system was initially tried in Dubbo in 2017 where approximately 1,400 participants used their digital licenses as an age proof as well as an identity card to enter into clubs and pubs. The licenses were also used in all public areas which involved police checks. They were confirmed effective, but several implementations had to be done to make them better. It has taken almost a year since to officially launching them.
Santosh Deveraj, the Secure Logic CEO, said that:
the blockchain based driving license would cut off the increased sophisticated fraudsters who fake up the identities. Since the license details are only checked superficially, cryptographic mechanisms will enhance the measures and thus minimize the fraud cases.
Apart from streamlining government services and preventing forgery, the newly implemented blockchain based driving licenses will address privacy concerns since drivers will be required to show the police the license only.
Deveraj also mentioned that the introduction of the blockchain based driving licenses was only the beginning of other digital transformations. He hinted that there are more technology plans which are currently underway, which will enhance government interaction with the public. He also said that queuing to get government services as well as filling the government paperwork would come to an end when the new technology is launched. The physical identification cards get lost easily, they are prone to errors, and above all, they are time consumptive.
The first digital license was introduced in South Wales in 2016, as well as the digital version of the gambling industry service license, liquor services licensing, and the fishing license. However, the digital licensing system was introduced fully in May this year when an amendment was done on Australia’s Road Transport Legislation (Digital Driver License Act 2018).
Australia has always been on the front line when it comes to championing blockchain technology. The new digital driving license thus joins a list of previous blockchain based projects implemented in the area. In July, Australia government announced its plans to partner with IBM, an American company, to launch several blockchain initiatives. In the partnership, the Australian Federal Agency would work with IBM to form a national blockchain, which would primarily allow businesses to transact more efficiently. This was done in accordance to the government goal of becoming a blockchain powerhouse by 2025.
Other than Australia, other governments have also embraced the use of blockchain technology. For instance, India recently announced that all birth certificates and degree certificates will now be issued using the blockchain network. Also, a West African nation Sierra Leone held presidential elections using the blockchain network. It is evident that the power of blockchain is becoming stronger every day.
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