The Nikkei Asian Review has reported that the Japanese government is moving forward with plans to begin testing blockchain technology for its public procurement process. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will be conducting the trials to assess the technology’s usefulness for streamlining the tendering process though improved interagency data-sharing. The test is reportedly part of a broader government effort to improve e-government efficiency and security, and is expected to conclude in March 2018.
According to that report, the goal is to create greater cost efficiencies, while increasing the security of data that is shared with the government. The trial will focus on facilitating greater communication of data between relevant government offices using secure blockchain systems. By providing a more secure back-end data management system, the ministry hopes to create a more secure and streamlined way for agencies to collect and share data with applicants and other government offices.
If successful, the tests could have a sizable impact on efficiency in a market that represents more than 16% of Japan’s annual GDP. That impact could be even more noticeable as the government moves forward with its plans to begin integrating blockchain technology in other e-government systems later next year, and perhaps eventually shares its findings with the country’s private sector.