Experts for making policy to tap potential of blockchain technology

DHAKA Bureaucrats, IT experts, bankers and academia have suggested that there should be a separate policy on the use of blockchain technology to tap its huge potential.

The use of this frontier technology can be used in different domains including governance, banking and finance, agriculture and health to provide services for reducing cost and corruption and ensure transparency, they said.

The suggestions came at a workshop on National Blockchain Strategy: Pathway to be a Blockchain-enabled Nation orgnaised by Leveraging ICT for Employment and Growth of the IT-ITES Industry (LICT) project of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) of ICT Division at the IDEA breakout zone of ICT tower on Wednesday.

The government is working to make a strategy first and then policy for using blockchain in different domains, said ICT Senior Secretary N M Zeaul Alam.

Referring to the Prime Minister's ICT Affair Adviser's instruction to formulate policy on frontier technologies N M Zeaul Alam said the government has been making a strategy on the blockchain taking opinion of the experts to reap benefits from the use of the latest emerging technology.

I think the blockchain strategy would be worthy and time-befitting for using the technology in future in different domains, the ICT secretary said.

Chaired by LICT project director Md Rezaul Karim, the function addressed among others by Additional Secretary Rshadul Islam, IT-ITES Policy Adviser of LICT Project Sami Ahmed, Chairman of Devnet Sabbir Mahbub, Head of Operations of eGeneration Emran Abdullah, Professor Dr Shariar of ULAB, Managing Director of TCL K. Atique-e-Rabbani, Deb Dulal Roy.

Assistant Professor of Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) of Shahjalal Science and Technology University (SUST) Md Sadek Ferdous presented a keynote paper when Sami Ahmed moderated the workshop.

In his keynote paper Professor Sadek highlighted the potential of blockchain technology in various application domains including financial, banking, land, agriculture, commerce, health application domain, document verification, judiciary, supply chain, smart city.

There is a huge potential for blockchain technology in the payment industry as blockchain-based payment system can facilitate a more direct approach instead of relying on middlemen, he said adding this can ensure huge savings for the institutions.

Professor Sadek said the blockchain-based system can be used to manage the ownership and transfer of intellectual property of the digitized assets of banking intuitions and guard against its misuse.

When customers data is kept in blockchain, it will be beneficial for anti-money laundering as it's impossible to keep track on individual transaction records, he said, adding that blockchain-based system can be used as a solution to issue different certificates and documents through proper verification mechanism.

The experts, however, suggested that strategy should be focused on developing existing IT resources on blockchain technology, creating a national expert pool to use the blockchain technology in the various application domains. They also laid emphasis on creating awareness among the users to tap immense potential of blockchain technology.

Rashadul Islam said the government has taken initiative to make blockchain strategy as policy support and intervention is a must for introducing new technology.

Five groups comprising IT experts, bureaucrats, bankers and academia after consulting each other made a set of recommendations for taking short, mid and long-term measures to use blockchain technology.

The recommendations include developing skills of existing IT resources, prioritizing and analyzing use-cases for each application domain, integration of government services, updating Bangladesh National Digital Architecture (BNDA), blockchain-friendly legal and policy frameworks for incorporating in the proposed new strategy on blockchain.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)