Following another corruption scandal, the government of Puerto Rico is seeking to enhance its anti-corruption efforts by introducing blockchain technology.
Blockchain against corruption
Puerto Rico House of Representatives Speaker Rafael “Tatito” Hernández announced that lawmakers will hold a meeting with local blockchain enthusiasts this month to discuss the possible adoption of blockchain technology to reduce corruption.
The introduction of blockchain and smart contracts could bring more transparency and accountability to the public sector, the official said at a conference of the Puerto Rico Blockchain Trade Association, Bloomberg reported Dec. 6.
“We have a real credibility problem and that could be part of the solution.”
– Hernández said, adding that there is also a broader effort to make Puerto Rico a center for innovation in crypto and blockchain. He said this emerging industry could be a way for the bankrupt Commonwealth to revive its economy.
“In the 60s and 70s, we had skilled jobs through manufacturing. Blockchain is a new opportunity to create specialized jobs. ”
– Hernandez a dit.
The speaker’s comments came at a time of growing concern about corruption in Puerto Rico. Last week, a local mayor admitted to taking a bribe of more than $ 100,000.
The fight is elsewhere
Puerto Rico is not alone in exploring the anti-corruption opportunities offered by technologies such as blockchain and digital currency. Last year, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on the potential of blockchain to tackle administrative and political corruption.
Also in November 2020, the United Nations Agency on Drugs and Crime recommended that Kenya use blockchain to combat corruption in the government.
As more jurisdictions turn to underlying cryptocurrency technology as a tool to curb corruption, some governments, such as Russia, are banning their parliamentarians and officials from holding cryptocurrencies, citing corruption fears.
According to Maria Agranovskaya, a lawyer and financial technology expert at the State Duma of Russia, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Russia may be using cryptocurrencies to reduce corruption. According to Ms. Agranovskaya, cash is more popular for illegal activities such as bribery because it is more difficult to track:
“If you pass the right KYC and AML up front, cryptocurrency flows can be much easier to track, there should only be the right rules of the game. “
Nothing can be said against the benefits of blockchain as an anti-corruption tool. And if the blockchain could be fully implemented, it would be interesting to see how many corrupt people there really are in the world….
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