Government approves first blockchain technology supplier on G-Cloud

Written by Rebecca Hill on 3 August 2016 in News
News

The government has approved the first Blockchain-technology supplier, paving the way for the use of distributed ledger services to be used across the public sector.

Blockchain technology can be used for secure transactions - Photo credit: Flickr, BTC Keychain

The latest list of suppliers whose services are available to public sector bodies through the G-Cloud framework includes the financial technology start-up Credits, which provides a platform on which organisations can build apps that use the technology behind Bitcoin.

A Blockchain – or distributed ledger - is an asset database that can be shared across several networks, sites or institutions. All participants have their own copy of the ledger and changes made in one site are reflected across all copies.

Credits is the first supplier of distributed ledger technologies to be approved by the Crown Commercial Service through the government’s Digital Marketplace, which lists companies public sector bodies can procure services from.


Related content

Putting blockchain in perspective for government organisations
Bringing government data to life


The move paves the way for services to be built using distributed ledgers – something recommended by government chief scientific adviser Mark Walport in April this year, who said it could help collect tax, issue passports and improve the integrity of government records.

The professional body for IT leaders in local government, Socitm, has also recognised the potential for blockchain, with a briefing issued this week saying it could be “enormously disruptive” to many public sector services and greatly encourage innovation.

However, the briefing also set out some potential issues, including the speed of transactions – some Bitcoin transactions can be 10 minutes – and the large amounts of computing and electrical power the process requires.

In addition, it said that, although the technology’s robustness and high levels of security could inspire trust, it needs to be communicated properly.

As an example, it cited concerns raised about a Department for Work and Pensions trial using blockchain to distribute benefits, which was slammed by critics who said it could be used to monitor and control recipients’ spending.

G-Cloud 8 newcomers

Meanwhile, the eighth iteration of the G-Cloud framework also lists a number of other first-time companies, including Preservica, which is offering a cloud-based system that combines access and preservation in on system to simplify secure access to records.

In a statement, the chief executive of Preservica, Jon Tilbury, said that there was a particular interest in the Preservica Cloud Edition within local government, adding that it could save money and future-proof permanent government records.

Another service to make it on to the G-Cloud 8 list is Covata’s file sharing platform Safe Share Gov+ Premium, which the company said was the only file sharing application that has received the ‘Top Secret’ security classification.

Its predecessor Safe Share Gov+ was available on G-Cloud 7, but the next iteration has been updated to increase the security specifications. The Service as a Solution platform can be used via the Public Services Network or the a range of Internet-based devices, with ongoing service management conducted by security cleared experts.

The company’s chief executive office Trent Telford said that, in response to reports about a lack of relevant digital skills within the public sector, the product had been developed “with simplicity as a priority. Agencies can begin using it straightaway with minimal training”.

The successful suppliers for G-Cloud 8 were informed on 18 July, but full details of the list have yet to be released. 

Share this page

Tags

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Will the government’s latest shared services strategy deliver delight or despair to Whitehall?
4 April 2018

Former senior civil servant Andrew Greenway looks at the reasons for both optimism and scepticism as the government embarks on another shared-services rollout

How the Parliamentary Digital Service is working to keep the Commons secure
20 April 2018

Following a major cyberattack and revelations of shared passwords, the team charged with protecting Parliament has been on a drive to help MPs stay safe

Government’s lack of action on WannaCry is ‘alarming’ – PAC
18 April 2018

Report from MPs says that, a year on from the cyberattack, government and the NHS must now take action

Related Sponsored Articles

What opportunities do next generation technologies present to organisations?
17 April 2018

BT brought together CIOs from well known organisations to identify the key threats and opportunities that new technologies are presenting

‘My work now is more independent' - Q&A with BT's Nick Hartley
3 April 2018

Hartley was a senior officer in the RAF and now works in cyber security for BT. Ahead of the BT Cyber Security Careers Insight, the Officers' Association asked him to...

Hollywood can teach us a lot about technology
26 March 2018

BT's Andy Rowland on technological risk, and how the systems fundamental to modern life are under attack