A report commissioned by the Scottish Government on the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the public sector has been published.

The Government’s digital strategy, Realising Scotland’s full potential in a digital world, identified digital ledger technologies as a topic with implications for improved digital public services and the development of a vibrant digital economy.

Wallet.Services, a CivTech Challenge winner, was commissioned to engage digital leaders and blockchain experts, research international best practice, and present findings. An interim report was unveiled at FutureScot‘s Digital Scotland 2018 Conference in June.

The final report published today “uncovered a significant global innovation ecosystem focused on building future digital public services with DLT – consisting of not only government, policy and research, but also driven from the private sector,” said the company in a statement.

“The overarching recommendation of this report is that Scotland joins the international ecosystem as an active participant, and develops a Scottish vision together with universities and businesses.”

It has identified areas in which DLT could be applied, covering “people, process and place.”

The reports authors – Rab Campbell, Peter Ferry, Dr Hannah Rudman, and Gillian Thompson – add that “DLT may represent the future of how citizens, consumers, and industries interact in a transparent, secure and streamlined manner to form the highest performing economies.”

In a foreword, Colin Cook, the Government’s director of digital, writes: “I hope that this … will challenge us all to consider the practical steps that we need – across all sectors of the economy – to take advantage of the opportunities it describes.

“Nobody can predict with any certainty what the most significant benefits of any technology will ultimately prove to be, but we can continue to scan the horizon, engage with experts and open ourselves up to new possibilities.”