The technological evolution is arguably the most rapid and exponentially expanding modernization challenge that global governments have had to face to date.

Throughout the development of human history, governments have risen and fallen based on their ability to adapt to challenges created by the ever-increasing modernization of human civilization. The technological evolution is arguably the most rapid and exponentially expanding modernization challenge that global governments have had to face to date. Within the advancement of technology is the need to update governing practices, regulations, and policies to meet the ever-changing relationship between technology and society. Also, within technological advancement there are opportunities for governing bodies to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. Governments must confront advancements in technology and recognize their ability to harness such advancements as a tool to create more effectiveness within their governing institutions. Blockchain technologies are one such technological modernization that governments must address as a potential opportunity. Blockchain is a data structure used to record transactions and is maintained through a web of peer-to-peer networks. This decentralized network allows blockchain to better ensure security and transparency as altering the record kept in blockchain is highly improbable. As a simple illustration, tampering with the information in blockchain would result in an alteration in the hash of the associated block. The following blocks would reflect this hash alteration and subsequently become invalid because it would be clear that they had been tampered with. Even if a person were able to adjust the following blocks’ hashes to make them appear correct, a fail-safe system called proof of work would also need to be altered. Altering proof of work would require altering the proof of work for all blocks subsequent to the altered block in all the chains in which the block was distributed in order to achieve consensus. In sum, it would be a monumental and likely impossible task. This immutability regarding alteration is what facilitates a high level of trust and transparency between parties in a blockchain interaction. This ability to engender trust and promote transparency among the parties could have broad applications in governance. A fundamental element of social cohesion and, by extension, governmental institutions is trust. Trust can be encouraged through blockchain technology implementation within the relationship between citizens and the government in which they may strengthen their institutions through collaboration and transparency. However, relying solely on blockchain technology to establish trust between a government and its citizenry is a mistake. There must be an existing will to build trust between the government and the population. The implementation of this will, if it does not already exist, will undoubtedly require a human element. Without this trust in governmental institutions, blockchain could be viewed as another tool of oppression implemented by the governing elite. To combat this viewpoint, the establishment of blockchain platforms and the subsequent rules that govern them must be created in such a way as to benefit the populace. If the government is not able to adequately address the citizen’s expectations, a rejection of the implementation of the technology will likely result. The potential for blockchain technology to improve governance is one that must be addressed but should be meticulously crafted prior to implementation in an environment in which trust between citizens and the government already exists to avoid an outright rejection and abandonment of the possibilities of blockchain technology in government applications by citizens.