TEDxUCLA 2018: Waves
Blockchain for a better government
Mike Alonso is a co-founder of Pactum.io, a platform that enables the deployment of no code blockchain solutions. Upon graduating from the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in Systems Engineering Management, he served as an Acquisitions Officer and worked in the nuclear weapons field. After which, Mike discovered the power of blockchain technology and focused 100% of his energy and efforts towards blockchain advancement, and adoption. He is now fully engaged in advancing blockchain technology around the world.
I predict within ten years we’ll go about our daily lives and we use blockchain once without even knowing it. I will even further my claims that within ten years we will have our identities on a blockchain.
Just last year, a top government official made this claim. We want to make our government the first blockchain-powered government in the world by 2020. Can you guess where this country came from? Maybe the U.S.? Somewhere in Europe? Japan? Neither. This statement came from a government official in Dubai.
Just last year, last November, the first digital ID in Zug, Switzerland was registered on a blockchain. And the country of Estonia uses blockchain-like technology to secure health records and a shared government database that allows them to seamlessly move their entire government and deny despot leaders the ability to change or alter that history.
Where the blockchain revolution come from? It seems like it just out of nowhere exploded, and it has. And that’s because people are realizing that blockchain technology contains revolutionary solutions and not just ten- to fifteen-percent gains in efficiency.
One of the tools the blockchain uses is something called triple-entry accounting. It takes general accounting one step further and provides a third entry which is public, meaning you, I can look at all the transactions that are going on our blockchain, we can see the state of every account, we can even see how much money is in circulation, and we can audit it.
I ask you, can you tell me your net worth right now? All your income, your assets, your investments minus your debt. How long will it take you to figure that out, down to the penny?
See, if we were on a blockchain we could do that immediately. So imagine being able to do that right now, immediately. Now imagine doing that for the organization you work for. And imagine doing that for the government. And taxes.
So currently your paycheck consists of four parts: you’ve got your income, you have your income tax, you have Medicare and Social Security. And after all your taxes are taken out do you ever wonder, “Where does that money go? What did that buy?”
Our current solution is to rely on the government to tell us about the government budget, so we know that 23 percent goes to Social Security, 15 percent to Medicare, 15 percent to defense and et cetera.
But if the government was on a blockchain we can know exactly where our tax revenue went, which bucket it fell into, down to the penny. We can find out which contractors the government hired, which countries we’re giving foreign aid to, and which ones were selling weapons to. We could even find out which programs or departments are fraudulently wasting our money.
Full transparency within our government. That is what the blockchain provides.
But it can do so much more. See, the blockchain provides the ability for us to program our money, to do things automatically for us so we can do simple things like invest five percent of our income or more complicated things like automate a driverless car to pay for itself.
And so we can take those principles and apply them to government. Take Social Security. Once you turn 67, the logic on the blockchain will know that you’re 67 and apply your benefits to you. Once you pass, a death certificate gets uploaded onto the blockchain and the blockchain immediately terminates your benefits. And with a few lines of code, congratulations: you’ve just automated a major part of Social Security.
And it can still do so much more. See, the blockchain also allows us the ability to store information, data, like a digital ID so you don’t have to carry an ID anymore. It lives digitally on a blockchain.
So this means refugees from war-torn countries who can’t verify who they are because their governments have been destroyed or collapsed. Try obtaining identification verification from a Syrian refugee right now.
See if our IDs were on a blockchain — a public blockchain — that means no one can control it. No one can delete it. It denies failed governments, dictatorships, corporations the ability to control and own our identity. It’s owned by us.
The blockchain is an amazing technology that allows us to do some really incredible things that were never possible before. If our government was on a blockchain that means we can have things like universal health care, expanded Social Security, expanded crucial social programs, and reduce taxes all by automating our government revenue.
We don’t need a 100,000-square-foot building full of 12,000 government employees whose job is to move and file paperwork because those records can be automated or maintained by a blockchain. So through a blockchain and automation we reduce the footprint required to operate the government, we increase programs, social programs are for good, and reduce taxes.
If our government was on a blockchain we can have all these things. See, I envision a world where we have a global ID, a digital ID. It sits on the blockchain and with that I.D. we can match a bank and we can open up bank accounts. And with that, millions, billions of people who have never had a bank account because they don’t have IDs that can be verified through their governments can open up bank accounts.
And because the government has a bank account and ID on you, now you can do things like universal basic income, which we’re finding solutions for, and your universal basic income can be deposited into your bank account that’s registered to your digital ID on the blockchain. And because we have a digital global ID it acts like a passport, so we’ll need a passport anymore. We can just interact globally and seamlessly.
However, if we put our government on the blockchain and automate things, we don’t like that, we, we don’t like automation. It means I can be replaced, it means everyone here can be replaced, it means entire departments can be replaced.
But that may not sound as bad when you actually think about it, because right now we don’t really know of a world in which we don’t work. We only know of this work culture, we haven’t traversed beyond that. But we see governments looking for solutions like universal basic income and the blockchain does that very well.
This is my vision. It’s a government on blockchain. It revolutionizes our government and not just a 10 to 15 percent gain in efficiency. So today I’m asking you to join me on this future technology and help build the world with me that we deserve. By investing your time, talents, and resources to blockchain technology.