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Blockchain in Digital Government: Research Needs Identification

Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP,volume 402)

Abstract

The so-called disruptive technologies play an important role in shaping the next generation of digital government: Government 3.0. This new stage places the focus on the data-driven and evidence-based decision and policy making. The prerequisite in achieving this stage is the seamless access to government data. The use of blockchain supports the interoperability-by-default concept in the creation of public services. At the same time blockchain is addressing another important problem governments facing across all over the world, namely, low level of citizens’ trust. In this paper, the authors review literature and projects on blockchain as a tool for improving interoperability and trust in Government 3.0 and they outline the issues for further research in the area, taking into consideration the knowledge collected in existing projects and the opinions of experts in the domain. The research needs are synthesized a) by analysing recent EU-funded projects involving blockchain and b) by drawing a future scenario, which is evaluated by experts to formulate further research needs. Finally, fifteen research needs are identified for blockchain in digital government.

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Acknowledgments

This paper is a result of the project “SmartEGOV: Harnessing EGOV for Smart Governance (Foundations, methods, Tools)/NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000037”, supported by Norte Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Correspondence to Demetrios Sarantis .

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A Appendix

A Appendix

Acronym, Call, URL

Project description

Identified research needs

Identified training needs

ANITA (H2020), HTTP://WWW.ANITA-PROJECT.EU/

ANITA aims at improving investigation capabilities of LEAs by delivering a set of tools and techniques to efficiently address online illegal trafficking of counterfeit/falsified medicines, NPS, drugs, and weapons

- Systematic literature review about initiatives to deal with the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities

- Advancements in the mitigation of the use of cryptocurrencies for online illegal trafficking

- Advancements in the mitigation of the use of cryptocurrencies for online illegal trafficking

ARTICONF (H2020), HTTP://ARTICONF.EU/

ARTICONF addresses issues of trust, time-criticality and democratisation for a new generation of federated infrastructure, to fulfil the privacy, robustness, and autonomy related promises that proprietary social media platforms have failed to deliver so far

- Identification of the main problems with centralized social media, including issues related to privacy, predictability of behaviour, information asymmetry and the lack of transparency of business model

- Opportunities and barriers for the use of blockchain for decentralized social media services

- Presentation of the main problems with centralized social media, including issues related to privacy, predictability of behaviour, information asymmetry and the lack of transparency of business model

- Presentation of the benefits of decentralized social media and how blockchain can support it

CO3 (H2020), HTTP://WWW.PROJECTCO3.EU/

CO3, Digital Disruptive Technologies to Co-create, Co-produce and Co-manage Open Public Services along with Citizens, aims at assessing the benefits and risks of disruptive technologies, namely: blockchain, augmented reality, geolocated social network, liquid democracy tools and gamification, in the co-creation, co-production and co-management of public services with citizens as PAs partners

- Identification of success factors and benefits for citizens in the use of blockchain technology for co-creation, co-production and co-management of public services. Suggestion to use multiple case studies research

- The benefits, risks and challenges in the use of blockchain for the co-creation, co-production and co-management of public services

COHUBICOL(ERC), HTTP://WWW.COHUBICOL.COM/

COHUBICOL (Counting as a Human Being in the Era of Computational Law) will investigate how the prominence of counting and computation transforms many of the assumptions, operations and outcomes of the law

- Implications and challenges of computational law

- History and advancements of computational law

- Assumptions in the relation of smart contracts and computational law

- Computational law: history, advancements, challenges, risks and benefits

- Smart contracts and computational law

D-CENT (FP7), HTTP://WWW.DCENTPROJECT.EU/

D-CENT (Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies) was a Europe-wide project bringing together citizen-led organisations that have transformed democracy in the past years, and helping them in developing the next generation of open source, distributed, and privacy-aware tools for direct democracy and economic empowerment

- Analyse the impact of the centralization of the Internet in democracy and society

- Identify the influence of decentralized and distributed platforms and free and open source solutions in democratic engagement

- Verify how blockchain technology can be used as a distributed platform to citizen empowerment and transparency

- Identify the privacy requirements to give citizens the control of their data in blockchain projects

- The journey of the centralization of the internet and its effects for society and democracy

- Present the initiatives and trends related to the decentralization of platforms

- The role, benefits and risks of blockchain in the context of distributed systems used by citizens

- Requirements and pitfalls of data privacy in governmental blockchain solutions

DECENTER (H2020), HTTP://WWW.DECENTER-PROJECT.EU/

DECENTER is a research and innovation project aiming to deliver a robust Fog Computing Platform, covering the whole Cloud-to-Things continuum, that will provide application-aware orchestration and provisioning of resources, driven by methods of Artificial Intelligence. The underlying infrastructure will span across borders into a federation, and will utilize blockchain and Smart Contracts to reach secure processing, automated operation and timely delivery of responses

- The use of smart contracts to customized service level agreements, its potential, challenges and risks

- Smart contracts, definitions, potential and barriers to its use

DECODE (H2020), HTTP://DECODEPROJECT.EU/

DECODE will explore how to build a data-centric digital economy where data that is generated and gathered by citizens, the Internet of Things (IoT), and sensor networks is available for broader communal use, with appropriate privacy protections

- Systematic literature review about the effect of the centralization of the Internet and big tech companies in innovation

- The potential use of blockchain for managing online identity and personal data in a citizen-friendly and privacy-aware way

- The potential of blockchain for decentralised ecosystems, sustainable and commons-based economy

- The collective benefits of data protection and the collective risks of the lack of data protection

- Information asymmetry around big tech companies and collective risks for society

- Compliance of blockchain technology with General data protection regulation

- Data protection by design and by default: Suggestion of multiple case study research

- Citizen digital rights

- Open source and free software: differences, history, principles, computer user freedom, community and standards

- Digital democracy

- The effect of the centralization of the Internet in innovation

- Information asymmetry around big tech companies and collective risks for society

- The potential use of blockchain for managing online identity and personal data in a citizen-friendly and privacy-aware

- General data protection regulation and blockchain: compliance and assumptions

- Data protection by design and by default

DEFENDER (H2020), HTTP://DEFENDER-PROJECT.EU/

DEFENDER will adapt, integrate, upscale, deploy and validate a number of different technologies and operational blueprints with a view to develop a new approach to safeguard existing and future European CEI operation over cyber-physical-social threats, based on a) novel protective concepts for lifecycle assessment, resilience and self-healing offering “security by design” and b) advanced intruder inspection and incident mitigation systems

- Contributions of blockchain for critical energy infrastructure protection and security

- Benefits of blockchain for critical energy infrastructure protection and security

MARKET4.0 (H2020), HTTP://MARKET40.EU/

MARKET4.0 provides a peer-to-peer marketplace for ‘plug & produce’, a reference implementation and domain-specific implementation for three key equipment manufacturing markets. It improve the sales power of production equipment SMEs by allowing them to “plug” into the marketplace and “produce” solutions for their customers

- Systematic literature review about the security issues of cryptocurrencies

- Definition of cryptocurrencies, its developments, problems and potential

- Myths and reality around cryptocurrencies

- Regulation of cryptocurrencies

M-SEC (H2020), HTTP://WWW.MSECPROJECT.EU/

The M-Sec smart city platforms will be distributed and robust, and based on IoT, cloud, Big Data and blockchain technologies. Through this trusted infrastructure, IoT stakeholders will be empowered to develop and operate new IoT applications for smart cities on top of smart objects

- Systematic literature review about the influence of blockchain for security in the context of smart cities projects

- Definition, challenges and risks of smart cities

- The use of blockchain for smart cities

P2PMODELS (ERC), HTTP://P2PMODELS.EU/

P2P Models is a large research project focused on building a new type of Collaborative Economy organizations, which are decentralized, democratic and economically sustainable harnessing the potentials of the blockchain

- Identification of self-enforcing rules for automatic governance and economic rewarding, in the use of blockchain for collaborative economy

- Identification of factors influencing users empowerment in blockchain applications for collaborative economy

- Definition of agent-mediated organizations for collaborative communities

- Opportunities, challenges and risks with the use of blockchain for collaborative economy

POSEID-ON (H2020), HTTP://WWW.POSEIDONPROJECT.EU/

The aim of the POSEIDON Project system is to eliminate legionella infection risks in every kind of water distribution and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems

- Benefits of blockchain to end users for enabling data protection by design and by default

- Data protection by design and by default: history, technical and governance requirements, advancements

PTWIST (H2020), HTTP://WWW.PTWIST.EU/

PTwist aims to design, deploy, and validate an open platform which will twist plastic reuse practices, by boosting citizens awareness, circular economy practices, and sustainable innovation inline with the new plastics economy vision

- Identification of success factors and main challenges in the use of blockchain for circular economy and/or waste management. Suggestion to do a multiple case studies research

- Identify the factors influencing the implementation of open source solutions using blockchain for circular economy and/or waste management

- Presentation of cases of open source and blockchain solutions for circular economy and/or waste management. Presentation of the main benefits and challenges with the use of the technology for this purpose

QUALICHAIN (H2020), HTTP://QUALICHAIN-PROJECT.EU/

QualiChain targets the creation, piloting and evaluation of a decentralised platform for storing, sharing and verifying education and employment qualifications and focuses on the assessment of the potential of blockchain technology, algorithmic techniques and computational intelligence for disrupting the domain of public education, as well as its interfaces with private education, the labour market, public sector administrative procedures and the wider socio-economic developments

- Potential use of blockchain for education and employment qualifications management

- Identification of needs and requirements from the different stakeholders for the governance model and for the design of the solution

- Potential use of blockchain for the creation of ecosystems, with different stakeholders and requirements

- Process for the involvement and requirements gathering from the stakeholders in the definition of a governance model for a blockchain solution

SONNETS (H2020), HTTP://WWW.SONNETS-PROJECT.EU/

SONNETS’ aims at renovating the way the public sector operates by suggesting a concrete set of actions that will place the public sector in the front line of tackling societal challenges, armoured with the right ammunition and with the right people that could take over the necessary tasks and activities

- How to increase the efficiency of public services in the identification, monitoring and early detection of societal needs

- Propose a methodology to support the timely awareness of emerging technologies and their usefulness for societal problems

- Lessons learnt from developed countries with the use of blockchain for public services that can be useful for the leapfrog of developing countries

TITANIUM (H2020), HTTP://WWW.TITANIUM-PROJECT.EU/

TITANIUM has researched, developed, and validated novel data-driven techniques and solutions designed to support Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) charged with investigating criminal or terrorist activities involving virtual currencies and/or underground markets in the darknet

- Advancements in the legal aspects regarding cryptocurrencies

- The influence of big tech companies in the financial system of the future, possible scenarios and how to deal with them

- Regulation aspects for big tech companies dealing with cryptocurrencies globally

- Legal and ethical framework for investigations of crime and terrorism on the internet: controversies and concerns

- The challenge to deal with the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and other illegal activities

- Legal frameworks and compliance of cryptocurrencies

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Sarantis, D., Alexopoulos, C., Charalabidis, Y., Lachana, Z., Loutsaris, M. (2020). Blockchain in Digital Government: Research Needs Identification. In: Themistocleous, M., Papadaki, M., Kamal, M.M. (eds) Information Systems. EMCIS 2020. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 402. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-63396-7_13

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