UK Trials Blockchain-Based Social Welfare Payments

Journalist:
Samburaj Das @sambdas
July 7, 2016

London-based blockchain and fintech startup GovCoin Systems Ltd., has been chosen by the UK Department for Work and Pensions to trial a new blockchain-based trial for welfare payments.

In a press release today, it is revealed that the United Kingdom’s Department for Work and Pensions has an ongoing proof-of-concept trial where welfare payments are being recorded on a distributed ledger or blockchain.

The trial commenced in last month in June, with the aim to develop a more effective and tamper-proof technology to be adopted by recipients of the welfare system.

The trial also sees the participation of leading UK bank Barclays, energy giant RWE npower and leading public research university, University College London.

David Freud (Lord Freud), the Minister for Welfare Reform at the UK Department for Work and Pensions spoke about the trial while speaking at the Payments Innovation Conference on July 4.

“We have been working with GovCoin Systems (and partners) for this trial,” he stated.

He added:

Claimants are using an app on their phones through which they are receiving and spending their benefit payments. With their consent, their transactions are being recorded on a distributed ledger to support their financial management.

Although details of the trial are currently scarce, it stands as one of the early examples of a blockchain application and solution, in the public sector.

Speaking about the trial, Barclays Corporate Banking vice chairman Jeremy Wilson noted the additional layer of data and identity enabled by blockchain innovation, now embedded onto payments. This strand of secure, tamper-resistant data would help a more effective exchange and the relationship between claimants and the government, he added.

In a statement, Wilson spoke of the potential of blockchain technology, stating:

We are keen to see how the positive potential of this service develops and adds to our wider efforts to explore the uses of distributed ledger technology.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): July 7, 2016 18:57

Samburaj Das @sambdas

Samburaj is the Editor for CCN, among the earliest and foremost publications covering financial and blockchain news. He has authored over 2,000 articles for CCN. Email him samburaj(@)ccn.com or find him barely tweeting @sambdas