As I speak to people around the world, I’m often asked “Who is leading” in this government space?  I tend to respond with a similar message every time.   I respond with “If you listen to the government leaders you can learn more from what they don’t say than what they do say”.

For example, in the United States if you go to big name conferences, you hear the same speakers, telling the same stories about the same use cases.  And, while the buzzwords are being used, the implementations are typically of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) that has been around for decades.  There appears to be great resistance to adopt transformative technology that holds so much promise for the future.  However, at the Government Blockchain Association, (GBA), we do see much more promise at the state and local levels.

  • Our GBA Chapter Leader in Puerto Rico, Giancarlo Gonzalez is bringing financial, educational, commercial and government resources to public-private partnerships.  They are working to transform legal, regulatory and technical frameworks to fundamentally improve Puerto Rico.
  • In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Peter Ambs, the CIO for the city, is putting together a community of government CIOs from around the globe to study blockchain technologies and find innovative solutions.
  • Joseph Williams, Governor Inslee’s ICT Industry Sector Lead & State of Washington ICT Economic Development Director is  assembling a team of leaders to bring blockchain solutions to his state.
  • Randall Pires, our GBA Chapter Leader in Atlanta is working with senators and a candidate for Governor who is proposing Georgia’s first crypto bill.  Georgia Senate Bill 464 was proposed by state Senators Joshua McKoon and Michael Williams. This bill will allow the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Revenue the ability to accept Bitcoin and other virtual currencies from citizens paying their license fees and tax bills.

And the list goes on and on.  We continue to participate in government events that enthusiastically embrace the improvements that blockchain technologies can deliver.  States are moving forward with legislation and innovative solutions to solve problems.  Our working groups are engaged with local and state level leaders throughout the United States.  There is also focused engagement with other national governments in Europe and other parts of the world.

So, who is leading in the government space today?  Not too long ago I attended a meeting of US Federal officials along with the same cast of characters that have been doing business with them for years.  I heard one of the speakers lament that the US Federal Government was not in the lead any more.  He said they had lost the lead to the private sector.  Now, it looks like they may get passed by state and local governments too.  Maybe the Federal Government has grown too big and slow to be out in front?  The real question is will the rest of the world wait, or will they simply move on.  We will have to wait and see.

Distributed Ledger Technology can be used to enhance the prescription fulfillment process by speeding up the flow of data. With the current e-prescribing benchmark “Surescripts,” a prescription takes roughly 45-60 minutes to come through the secure servers. During that period of time, the patient has left the office, walked to their car and driven to the pharmacy only to be told, “We don’t have your prescription yet.” The process uses certificates and in the case of controlled substances, takes even longer because of even more checks and balances involving the DEA and their servers. I believe that the speed of the shared processing power combined with the transparency of the Blockchain will greatly improve this process. The streamlined flow of this information should alleviate some of the stress between Patients and Pharmacists on the front line of the fight to keep people healthy.
Florida House Bill 1357 sponsored by James W. Grant had a great start but it seems that one of his most relevant advancements died in the Government Accountability Committee. Political observers have been keeping an eye on this bill since it was proposed just less than two months ago because of its potential of becoming one of the most innovative piece of legislation in the blockchain universe not only at the Florida State level but on a national level.

Find full article at 

From the Revolution to the Napoleonic Period to MAJIC; the modern computerization of the French Cadastral System.

From kings to vassals to the disparity of the provinces;  here is the accurate, historical perspective of France’s journey to an entirely computerized system allowing for an easy handling of an important volume of data: 35 million owners, 100 million plots, 35.5 million buildings and 600,000 street names.

A shout out of merci to Mademoiselle Leïla Nassiri-Jamet, President of the Paris Chapter of the Government Blockchain Association for sending me this research paper.

Here is the Part I link to the historical account of France’s cadastral journey:  Link

Stayed tuned for Part II where I will take you from the current French MAJIC land registry system –  to the possible adoption of blockchain technology.

John Dean Markunas is a real estate industry Blockchain Adviser and Front-End Business Development Consultant with a global outlook. He is the Principal Consultant with Power of Chain Consultancy.

John is an active member of the International Real Estate Blockchain Association (IBREA) with both the New York City and São Paulo, Brazil IBREA Chapters. He is also a member of the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) and the Leader of GBA’s Land Titling Working Group, which is dedicated to developing best practices and communication tools for educational outreach to land registry offices on a global basis.

For more information on blockchain use in the real estate industry contact John at

The GBA hosts Communities of Interest (CoIs).  One of them is the Washington State CoI.  It is an on-line community for people and organizations who are, or want to be, part of the Washington State government blockchain ecosystem.  The community is moderated by Joseph Williams.

The community is open to government employees, contractors and professionals from state and local organizations that have an interest in blockchain based solutions to problems faced by the residents of Washington State.  The group will discuss:

  • Policy & legislative issues impacting the use of blockchain technologies in the state of Washington
  • Regulatory frameworks that promote or impede innovation
  • Coordination between federal, state and local government organizations
  • Technical cooperation between organizations to improve government services to citizens
  • Any other issues that will result in more transparent, accountable and efficient delivery of government services to the residents of Washington state

To join the group:

  1.  Join the Government Blockchain Association by visiting the Membership Page.
  2. Complete your profile
  3. Contact Joseph Williams to be added to the Washington State Government Blockchain Association (GBA) Community

For any further questions or comments, contact support@GBAglobal.




Sandy Barsky of the GSA hosts regular meetings of the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) SW License Management Working Group.  The group includes major government software solution providers along with key members of the GBA.

The group is developing solutions to reduce the complexity of managing software licenses as well as finding ways to drastically reduce the cost of software to large organizations.

The group is planning to make these solutions available to all software stakeholders globally. This will reduce waste, fraud, and abuse resulting from poor management of software licenses using blockchain technology.

All government employees may join the GBA for free, and may participate in this global effort.

Industry professionals are also encouraged to  join the GBA and participate in the  Intellectual Property (IP) – Software Working Group.

As new professional member of the Government Blockchain Association, is my pleasure to start contributing to the community by informing, and hopefully establishing a connection, between GBA and the Research Data Alliance (RDA), and in particular with the recently launched Working Group (WG) exploring Blockchain application in health.

With more than 6.600 members from 135 countries, the Research Data Alliance (RDA) was launched in 2013 as a joint initiative by the European Commission, the United States Government’s National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Australian Government’s Department of Innovation, with the key aim of enabling open sharing and free flow of data, in a variety of domains (here more information), also implementing the necessary infrastructures and standards for promoting data sharing and research.

Within the forthcoming 11th Plenary meeting (Berlin, March 21st-23rd), the new Working group Blockchain application in health will be launched, with the aim of implementing Guidelines for establishing a scalable blockchain-based data sharing system in healthcare, as outcome of a joint effort of all the members, through dedicated meetings and discussions.

I encourage all the members of the GBA, and in particular to those interested in blockchain applications in the healthcare domain, to join the WG and contribute to the discussion!

This unprecedented use-case study was completed in 2017.  It addressed several issues including:

  1. Can you legally transfer ownership of real estate on the bitcoin blockchain?
  2. Can a blockchain real estate title transfer be recorded in the government public records?
  3. Can you do both without needing special permission or partnership with the county government?

The pilot program was a consensus, volunteer effort with talented individuals and organizations who represented public and private stakeholders. These participants included;  velox.RE, Hogan Lovells Law Firm, leaders from the International Blockchain Real Estate Association, the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, law firm Goldberg Kohn and others from title insurance, the public notary sector and technology sector who lent their expertise for specific issues.

This report also addresses the fragmentation and centralization of land registry systems that produce many pain points stemming from inefficiencies and bureaucracies that blockchain adoption can eliminate.


One would think that global governments and government organizations would be eager to dismantle their gated bureaucracies and diminish the public mistrust that holds them back and shackles them from seizing the opportunity of becoming a powerful, added-value citizens’ resource.

The reality is that a few governments are more proactive than others while many others are still lurking in the shadows of the Blockchain movement waiting for someone to lead them to the Blockchain fountain of transparency, immutability and disruption.

Trailblazers, Mass Adopters and Followers

Some governments are trailblazers embracing this new technology such as the “new” country of Estonia e-Estonia and the “new” Smart City of Dubai. In the United States, a few states are taking a pro-active stance such as the State of Deleware’s Blockchain Initiative and the State of Vermont’s exploration of Blockchain use.

On both a state and county level in the U.S., the State of Illinois recently announced a consortium of Illinois state and county agencies, known as the Illinois Blockchain Initiative. This is a collaboration which explores innovations presented by Blockchain and distributed ledger technology.

And there are other countries, governments and agencies that are slowly moving out of the shadows and waking up and smelling the Blockchain roses. They are now conducting internal research or hiring consultants to educate them and to map out potential Blockchain use.

Use cases, Experiments and Pilot Programs are Being launched as an Increasing Number of Governments Explore and Tackle In-Country Business Sector Issues (Figure 1)  (*Source:  IBM Blockchain Survey)

The potential and market for the adoption of Blockchain services in government are enormous. So much so that there are many private global blockchain industry groups and associations positioning themselves to influence government and citizens alike. In the U.S., for example, there is the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition whose mission is to “… educate Wyoming citizens about the power of blockchain technology to cut costs, streamline administrative processes and spur entirely new businesses in Wyoming.”

On a global basis, there is the Global Blockchain Business Council whose members from over 30 countries are attempting to advance global understanding of Blockchain technology.

Real estate industry sector focused International Blockchain Real Estate Association (IBREA), is a 4,000 member-focused advocacy, educational, and trade organization dedicated to implementing blockchain in real estate – on a global basis.

Unique to government, of course,  is the dynamic, Government Blockchain Association (GBA).

GBA is committed to helping government and public sector people and organizations worldwide 1) understand, 2) implement and 3) benefit from blockchain related technologies and capabilities.

A core component of GBA’s commitment to government education and eventual Blockchain technology adoption is its Working Groups forum. There are over a dozen Working Groups with the common goal of reaching out to government officials with a platform of education, awareness, use cases and Blockchain adoption assistance. The Working Groups are industry focused and include such sectors as cybersecurity, energy, healthcare, voting and real estate (Land Titling Working Group) — to name a few.

Building Trust in Government – Exploring the Potential of Blockchains

*  IBM Survey and Research

The IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed 200 government leaders in 16 countries on their experiences and expectations with Blockchain (2017). This study found that many groups of government organizations are readily embracing Blockchain technologies to reduce frictions to innovation and information flow and to facilitate more extensive collaboration.


  • Trailblazers vs. Mass Adopters vs. Followers (Figure 1)

One result of the study shows that while virtually all government organizations surveyed intend to invest in Blockchain by 2018, a small group of pioneers (14%) is setting a faster pace and a new direction with Blockchain today.

  • Potential for Blockchain to Eradicate Frictions That Limit Growth and Constrain Barriers to Innovation (Figure 7)


Despite their focus on innovation, government executives – including those from the Trailblazer organizations – aren’t particularly concerned that Blockchain will be disruptive because it really isn’t. It’s actually constructive (well, I’d say it first deconstructs then reconstructs). Blockchain will smooth out many friction or pain points of government processes, systems and services.

Just 35% of respondents anticipate significant disruption and only in one area – contract management (see Figure 7). Additionally, 60% expect at least some disruption in borderless services, asset management and identity management.

  • Barriers to Adoption of Blockchain (Figure 8)

Six in ten governments recognize regulatory constraints as the greatest barrier to the adoption of Blockchain (no surprise here, government regulatory agencies and legislators themselves are at fault here), followed closely by what they perceive as immature technology and lack of executive buy-in (see Figure 8).

The immature technology issue though is rapidly changing as Blockchain technologies continuously adapt and mature to market conditions. The lack of executive buy-in will dissipate as they are educated on Blockchain technologies and their use by the very same groups cited in this article. What we especially need are more use cases or successful pilot programs to demonstrate to business executives and government officials of all stripes, that Blockchain is effective and now a reality.

What’s Next??

Ultimately, Blockchain will unleash and amplify the power of open government. As part of a collaborative ecosystem enabled by Blockchain technologies, governments will become a more trusted partner and reinvent existing processes to enable more collaboration across agencies and with citizens. Blockchain will eventually provide a consistent, transparent and open view of activities, information and decisions, fueling the open innovation and reinvention of many government services.

Government organizations, like those in any industry, are wise to take the long view on Blockchain. But unlike other industries, because they shape the regulatory and legal environment, they can’t afford to stay on the sidelines. Government organizations don’t just stand to benefit from the greater trust promised by blockchains; they are uniquely charged to create it for the benefit of all.


John Dean Markunas is a real estate industry Blockchain Adviser and Front-End Business Development Consultant with a global outlook.  John is an active member of the International Real Estate Blockchain Association (IBREA) – a member of both the New York City and São Paulo, Brazil IBREA Chapters. He is also a member of the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) and the Leader of GBA’s Land Titling Working Group, which is dedicated to developing best practices and communication tools for educational outreach to land registry offices on a global basis.