The Future of Government… in a Digital Age

Peter Diamandis | Blog | Oct 8, 2018

government of the future - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age

Governments are one of the last strongholds of an undigitized, linear sector of humanity, and they are falling behind fast.

Apart from their struggle to keep up with private sector digitization, federal governments are in a crisis of trust.

At almost a 60-year low, only 19 percent of Americans reported that they could trust their government “always” or “most of the time” in a recent Pew survey. And the U.S. is not alone.

See:  Immersive 2-day Blockchain Developer Training Course (Nov 10-11, Toronto): Decentralized Application Development

The Edelman Trust Barometer revealed last year that 47 percent of the world population distrust their nations’ institutions. Even in Canada, only 26 percent of surveyed Canadians consider regulators and government officials to be credible.

In many cases, the private sector — particularly tech behemoths — are driving greater progress in regulation-targeted issues like climate change than state leaders.

And as decentralized systems, digital disruption, and private sector leadership take the world by storm, traditional forms of government are beginning to fear irrelevance.

However, the fight for exponential governance is not a lost battle.

Early visionaries like Estonia and the UAE are leading the way in digital governance, empowered by a host of converging technologies.

In this blog, we will cover three key trends:

  1. Digital governance divorced from land
  2. AI-driven service delivery and regulation
  3. Blockchain-enforced transparency

Let’s dive in.

Governments Going Digital 

States and their governments have forever been tied to physical territories, and public services are often delivered through brick-and-mortar institutions.

Yet public sector infrastructure and services will soon be hosted on servers, detached from land and physical form.

Enter e-Estonia.

Perhaps the least expected on a list of innovative nations, this former Soviet Republic-turned digital society is ushering in an age of technological statecraft.

Hosting every digitizable government function on the cloud, Estonia could run its government almost entirely on a server.

Starting in the 1990s, Estonia’s government has covered the nation with ultra-high-speed data connectivity, laying down tremendous amounts of fiber-optic cable. By 2007, citizens could vote from their living rooms.

With digitized law, Estonia signs policies into effect using cryptographically secure digital signatures, and every stage of the legislative process is available to citizens online.

Citizens’ healthcare registry is run on the blockchain, allowing patients to own and access their own health data from anywhere in the world — X-rays, digital prescriptions, medical case notes — all the while tracking who has access.

See:  Plowing Ahead: Bermuda Continues Crypto-Friendly Push With Digital ID Partnership

Today, most banks have closed their offices as 99 percent of banking transactions occur online (with 40 percent of citizens using cryptographically secured e-IDs). And by 2020, e-tax will be entirely automated with Estonia’s new e-Tax and Customs Board portal, allowing companies and tax authority to exchange data automatically.

And i-Voting, civil courts, land registries, banking, taxes, and countless e-facilities allow citizens to access almost any government service with an electronic ID and personal PIN online.

But perhaps Estonia’s most revolutionary breakthrough is its recently introduced e-citizenship.

With over 30,000 e-residents, Estonia issues electronic IDs to global residents anywhere in the world. While e-residency doesn’t grant territorial rights, over 5,000 e-residents have already established companies within Estonia’s jurisdiction.

After registering companies online, entrepreneurs pay automated taxes — calculated in minutes and transmitted to the Estonian government with unprecedented ease.

The implications of e-residency and digital governance are huge. As with any software, open-source code for digital governance could be copied perfectly at almost zero cost, lowering the barrier to entry for any group or movement seeking statehood.

We may soon see the rise of competitive governing ecosystems, each testing new infrastructure and public e-services to compete with mainstream governments for taxpaying citizens.

And what better to accelerate digital governance than AI?

Legal Compliance Through AI

Just last year, the UAE became the first nation to appoint a State Minister for AI (actually a friend of mine, H.E. Omar Al Olama), aiming to digitize government services and halve annual costs. Among multiple sector initiatives, the UAE hopes to deploy robotic cops by 2030.

Meanwhile, the U.K. now has a Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, and just last month, world leaders convened at the World Government Summit to discuss guidelines for AI’s global regulation.

As AI infuses government services, emerging applications have caught my eye:

  1. Smart Borders and Checkpoints:

With biometrics and facial recognition, traditional checkpoints will soon be a thing of the past.

Cubic Transportation Systems — the company behind London’s ticketless public transit — is currently developing facial recognition for automated transport barriers. Digital security company Gemalto predicts that biometric systems will soon cross-reference individual faces with passport databases at security checkpoints, and China has already begun to test this at scale.

See:  Exclusive: Ant Financial shifts focus from finance to tech services: sources

While the Alibaba Ant Financial affiliate’s “Smile to Pay” feature allows users to authenticate digital payments with their face, nationally overseen facial recognition technologies allow passengers to board planes, employees to enter office spaces, and students to access university halls.

With biometric-geared surveillance at national borders, supply chains and international travelers could be tracked automatically, and granted or denied access according to biometrics and cross-referenced databases.

  1. Policing and Security:

Leveraging predictive analytics, China is also working to integrate security footage into a national surveillance and data-sharing system. By merging citizen data in its “Police Cloud” — including everything from criminal and medical records, transaction data, travel records and social media — it may soon be able to spot suspects and predict crime in advance.

But China is not alone.

During London’s Notting Hill Carnival this year, the Metropolitan Police used facial recognition cross-referenced with crime data to pre-identify and track likely offenders.

  1. Smart Courts:

AI may soon be reaching legal trials as well.

UCL computer scientists have developed software capable of predicting courtroom outcomes based on data patterns with unprecedented accuracy.

Assessing risk of flight, the National Bureau of Economic Research now uses an algorithm leveraging data from hundreds of thousands of NYC cases to recommend whether defendants should be granted bail.

But while AI allows for streamlined governance, the public sector’s power to misuse our data is a valid concern and issues with bias as a result of historical data still remain.

As tons of new information is generated about our every move, how do we keep governments accountable?

Enter the blockchain.

Transparent Governance and Accountability

Without doubt, alongside AI, the government’s greatest disruptor is the newly minted blockchain.

Relying on a decentralized web of nodes, blockchain can securely verify transactions, signatures, and other information. This makes it essentially impossible for hackers, companies, officials, or even governments to falsify information on the blockchain.

See:  Q&A: Walmart’s Frank Yiannas on the use of blockchain for food safety

As you’d expect, many government elites are therefore slow to adopt the technology, fearing enforced accountability. But blockchain’s benefits to government may be too great to ignore.

First, blockchain will be a boon for regulatory compliance.

As transactions on a blockchain are irreversible and transparent, uploaded sensor data can’t be corrupted. This means middlemen have no way of falsifying information to shirk regulation, and governments eliminate the need to enforce charges after the fact.

Apply this to carbon pricing, for instance, and emission sensors could fluidly log carbon credits onto a carbon credit blockchain, such as that developed by Ecosphere+. As carbon values are added to the price of everyday products or to corporations’ automated taxes, compliance and transparency would soon be digitally embedded.

Blockchain could also bolster government efforts in cybersecurity. As supercities and nation-states build IoT-connected traffic systems, surveillance networks and sensor-tracked supply chain management, the blockchain is critical in protecting connected devices from cyberattack.

Continue to the full article --> here

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

Latest news - The Future of Government... in a Digital AgeFF Logo 400 v3 - The Future of Government... in a Digital Agecommunity social impact - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
NCFA Newsletter subscribe600 - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age

FFCON20 Homepage Banner 600 - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age

BC Securities Commission | Release | Jan 27, 2020 Vancouver – The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) is seeking input from interested stakeholders through two new advisory groups. Last week, the BCSC held the first meeting of its Corporate Finance Stakeholder Forum, which will help ensure that the Commission’s regulation of issuers is efficient and effective. The BCSC also announced that it is seeking applications from the financial technology community to join the Fintech Advisory Forum. “We work to keep the investment markets fair and honest, in a cost-effective manner,” said Brenda Leong, the Chair and CEO of the BCSC. “Smart regulation depends on good intelligence, and the best way to get that is by engaging with the people and businesses affected by our rules.” The 25 volunteer members of the Corporate Finance Stakeholder Forum is advising Corporate Finance staff on policy initiatives, investment market trends and other emerging issues affecting reporting and non-reporting issuers, including investment funds. At its first meeting January 22, members discussed the proposal by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) for a “notice equals delivery” system, as well as other proposals for reducing regulatory burden for public companies. See:  NCFA Canada’s response to BCSC Notice 2018/1 ...
Read More
bcsc  - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
Finextra | Jan 22, 2020 While technology has yet again been a central topic of discussion at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, there has also been a determined focus on fintech and how financial inclusion is key to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. In conversation with Finextra, Haus of Fintech founder Misha Rao highlights that the recent formation of the Digital Financing Task Force by the UN Secretary General, as well as the need to ensure the financing of the SDGs - which has a $2.5 trillion annual financing gap - "it is time to actively question how we catalyse the fintech ecosystem globally and build coalitions and strategic partnerships that come up with practical solutions and ensure prosperity is widely shared on a local and an international level." See:  Task Force Analyzes Role of Fintech in Accelerating SDGs Rao continues: "We know that digital finance initiatives could add $3.7 trillion to the GDP of emerging economies and organisations including the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum have invested in fintech, believing that it has the potential to create a better world. "We believe that core areas like the need for ...
Read More
global global - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
LA Times | Jan 27, 2020 Kobe Bryant, the NBA MVP who had a 20-year career with the Lakers, was killed Sunday when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames in the hills above Calabasas. His daughter Gianna, 13, was also on board and died along with seven others. For live updates and remembrance --> here Inc. | Sonia Thompson | Dec 13, 2018 This is How You Achieve Greatness. 5 Essential Lessons From Kobe Bryant A few months ago, Kobe Bryant released his book, The Mamba Mentality. I've always admired his work ethic that led to his numerous accomplishments, so I was eager to dive into the text. See:  Advancing Competition in a Changing Marketplace During Bryant's famed 20-year basketball career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he racked up five NBA championships, two NBA finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals. He's also the third-highest all-time career regular season scorer for the league. The lessons Bryant laid out in his book are gold for entrepreneurs who want to build a legacy of greatness in their work. Here are five important lessons from Kobe's Mamba Mentality every business leader should adopt. 1. Obsession is not-optional. Jeff Bezos often muses about how customer obsession ...
Read More
Kobe Bryant image - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
WSJ | AnnaMaria Andriotis | Jan 19, 2020 Tech giant plans terminals to let consumers link credit card information to their hands Amazon wants to make your hand your credit card. The tech giant is creating checkout terminals that could be placed in bricks-and-mortar stores and allow shoppers to link their card information to their hands, according to people familiar with the matter. They could then pay for purchases with their palms, without having to pull out a card or phone. The company plans to pitch the terminals to coffee shops, fast-food restaurants and other merchants that do lots of repeat business with their customers, according to some of the people. Amazon declined to comment. Amazon, like other tech companies, is trying to further integrate itself into consumers’ financial lives, leaving banks and card networks on edge. Apple Inc. introduced a credit card last year, and Google is rolling out checking accounts. If the Amazon terminals succeed, they could leapfrog mobile wallets such as Apple Pay while expanding Amazon’s already-extensive access to consumer data. See:  Grab launches first cloud kitchen in Singapore amid GrabFood expansion Amazon’s projects are closely watched both by tech and financial companies, which are increasingly colliding ...
Read More
biometric payments - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
World Economic Forum | Yuval Harari | Jan 24, 2020 Humanity faces three existential threats this century, warned historian Yuval Harari at Davos 2020. Technology risks dividing the world into wealthy elites and exploited "data colonies," he explained. "If you like the World Cup - you are already a globalist," he said, making the case for better cooperation to tackle the challenges. As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first Century, humanity faces so many issues and questions, that it is really hard to know what to focus on. So I would like to use the next twenty minutes to help us focus of all the different issues we face. Three problems pose existential challenges to our species. These three existential challenges are nuclear war, ecological collapse and technological disruption. We should focus on them. Now nuclear war and ecological collapse are already familiar threats, so let me spend some time explaining the less familiar threat posed by technological disruption. In Davos we hear so much about the enormous promises of technology – and these promises are certainly real. But technology might also disrupt human society and the very meaning of human life in numerous ways, ranging from the ...
Read More
how to survive the 21st century - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
Verdict | Ellen Daniel | Jan 13, 2020 Open banking was first launched in January 2018 and received much attention from the financial community as the potential bringer of fintech disruption. The regulations require UK-regulated banks to share their customers’ financial data (with permission) with third party providers through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) in order to make it easier for customers to access financial services and for TPPs to develop new products. Today marks open banking’s second anniversary and while it has impacted the financial landscape, prompting incumbent banks to adapt to innovation and opening up new opportunities in terms of consumer experience, some have argued that the regulation is yet to live up to expectations. See:  Open Banking in the UK: what’s happened so far Banks had until March 2019 to establish a “sandbox” environment that third party providers could access and use to test products and until June to make their APIs available to third parties, but many European banks have not adequately met key deadlines, stalling innovation. Although many traditional banks are now adhering to open banking regulations, more could be done to ensure that they also benefit from the new landscape in terms ...
Read More
open banking image2 - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
The New York Times | Ruchir Sharma | Jan 20, 2020 To outsiders, China may seem like a surveillance state. But tech has fueled growth and helped stave off recession. Landing in Shanghai recently, I found myself in the middle of a tech revolution remarkable in its sweep. The passport scanner automatically addresses visitors in their native tongues. Digital payment apps have replaced cash. Outsiders trying to use paper money get blank stares from store clerks. Nearby in the city of Hangzhou a prototype hotel called FlyZoo uses facial recognition to open doors, no keys required. Robots mix cocktails and provide room service. Farther south in Shenzhen, we flew the same drones that are already making e-commerce deliveries in rural China. Downtown traffic flowed smoothly, guided by synced stoplights and restrained by police cameras. Outside China, these technologies are seen as harbingers of an “automated authoritarianism,” using video cameras and facial recognition systems to thwart lawbreakers and a “citizen score” to rank citizens for political reliability. An advanced version has been deployed to counter unrest among Muslim Uighurs in the inland region of Xinjiang. But in China as a whole, surveys show that trust in technology is high, concern about ...
Read More
Driverless delivery bot in China - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
TechCrunch | Danny Crichton | Jan 17, 2020 I talked yesterday about how VCs are just tired these days. Too many deals, too little time per deal, and constant hyper-competition with other VCs for the same equity. One founder friend of mine noted to me last night that he has already received inbound requests from more than 90 investors over the past year about his next round — and he’s not even (presumably) fundraising. “I may have missed a few,” he deadpans — and really, how could one not? All that frenetic activity, though, leads us to the paradox at the heart of 2020 venture capital: It’s the largest funds that are writing the earliest, smallest checks. That’s a paradox because big funds need big rounds to invest in. A billion-dollar fund can’t write 800 $1 million seed checks with dollars left over for management fees (well, they could, but that would be obnoxious and impossible to track). Instead, the usual pattern is that as a firm’s fund size grows, its managing partners increasingly move to later-stage rounds to be able to efficiently deploy that capital. So the $200 million fund that used to write $8 million Series As transforms ...
Read More
VC funding rounds 1 - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
NCFA and TFI | January 23, 2020 Strengthening Canada's fintech and financial reach through collaboration, competition and networking at FFCON20 TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / January 23, 2020 / The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association of Canada (NCFA) and Toronto Finance International (TFI) announced today a collaborative partnership and the joint launch of the 2020 Fintech and Financing Conference and Expo (FFCON20) to be held in downtown Toronto on March 23-24, 2020. The theme for the 6th annual FFCON is RISE, reflecting the joint efforts of the two associations, NCFA and TFI, to build and increase the success and sustainability of Canada's fintech and financial sector. With finance and fintech touching virtually every business and entity of people's lives, FFCON draws national interest and global participation from high-growth startups and leading industry experts across a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. You will find fintech entrepreneurs from across all fintech sectors including digital banking, peer to peer finance, AI, capital markets, wealth management, payments, crypto and blockchain along with innovative financial institutions, investors, regulators, government and major industry stakeholders, all in one place. FFCON facilitates thought-provoking and relevant discussions, lively debates and personal networking for the cross-pollination of ideas and experiences ...
Read More
FFCON20 Homepage Banner v1 - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age
Wealthsimple | Press Release | Jan 21, 2020 Wealthsimple Cash offers 2.4% interest rate and lets Canadians save and spend through a mobile app and metal card TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2020 /CNW/ - Wealthsimple has launched its first hybrid saving and spending product: Wealthsimple Cash. The new account offers users the ability to save and spend with one of Canada's highest non-promotional interest rates of 2.4% - in addition to a host of features that help people earn more on every dollar in their Cash account. Wealthsimple Cash combines a saving and spending account to give Canadians the power to have both an account that allows for everyday purchases while also providing a safe place to grow their money. Cash clients will benefit from no monthly account fees, no low balance fees, no foreign transaction fees worldwide, and ATM fee reimbursements - all through a sleek, metal card designed to make spending responsibly easy. "Canadians are used to the status quo when it comes to everyday banking - multiple accounts, high fees and low interest," said Michael Katchen, CEO and co-founder, Wealthsimple. "With Wealthsimple Cash, users can enjoy the power of a high interest savings account for all of their day-to-day spending needs ...
Read More
wealthsimple account - The Future of Government... in a Digital Age