Notarizing on blockchain to transform the public sector?

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If the definition of blockchain is understood, the use cases it aims to cover are the subject of numerous discussions, at the center of which is the question of digital trust.  

From this perspective, notarization on blockchain, thought as a method of recording certified data in a secure and transparent way, answers critical issues.  

In a world of open ecosystems, marked by an increase in document fraud, notarization on blockchain can provide transparency, security and reliability. These are advantages that, as we will see, are all the more decisive for the public sector, which emphasizes the importance of trust.  

In this article, we will see how electronic notarization on blockchain works, its advantages and use cases.  

How does notarization on blockchain work?

When data is anchored in the blockchain, it becomes immutable and verifiable by any user who has the right to read the blockchain. It is this verifiability of an integrated and secured data that gives the principle of notarization on blockchain an unequalled legitimacy and credibility.

How blockchain notarization works

If the verifiability of authentic data is a strong argument against other technologies on the market, it is also the security of this system that should be praised.  

What are the advantages of notarization on blockchain?

The advantages of notarization on blockchain are numerous, whether by design or by default:

  • Auditability: the verifiability of the data anchored in a blockchain by a third party, authorized on the blockchain, is a guarantee of the reliability of the data exchanged, a source of trust
  • Security: the encryption methods used for data anchoring (such as SHA-256), as well as theconsensus algorithm chosen for the blockchain, reinforce the protection of the data exchanged.
  • Authenticity: the credibility of the actors authorized to anchor on the blockchain, as well as the consensus that validates the creation of a block, are the essential source of digital trust. At Archipels, it is more than 100M documents anchored by our trusted third parties that ensure the authenticity of anchored data.  

These three benefits are key in business process management and, more specifically, in many public sector use cases that we will explore in more detail in the next section.

How to use blockchain-based notarization for the public sector?

There are many areas of the public sector that can benefit from implementing a blockchain system. We'll explore some real-world illustrations:  

  • The notarization of health documents: following on from the DMP (shared medical record) project carried by the French government, we can imagine that blockchain will enable the recording of health-related documents to facilitate their instant verification. Imagine the automation of reimbursement processes through the anchoring of carte vitale and carte mutuelle.
  • The notarization of certificates of entitlement: It is possible to anchor certificates of entitlement to facilitate the payment of social benefits. For example, the anchoring of Pôle Emploi certificates would allow all the beneficiaries of social benefits to justify their professional situation quickly and in a few seconds.  

Operating principle of notarization of healthcare documents on blockchain

  • Notarization of KBIS extracts: with the growth of supplier fraud in the public domain, it is wise to consider solutions that make it easy to verify the existence of a company... before contracting with it. The anchoring of KBIS extracts is an effective solution.
  • Notarization of documents related to land ownership: with the anchoring of property titles in its own blockchain since 2017, the Estonian government is leading the way in this area by tracing the real estate properties of its citizens and e-residents. Needless to say, this greatly facilitates administrative procedures based on the declaration of one's real estate.

Illustration of the notarization of KBIS extract

These different examples demonstrate the relevance of using blockchain to improve the transparency and security of its operations. Before embarking on the implementation of a notarization project, what are the challenges to anticipate?

What criteria should be considered before adopting blockchain-based notarization in the public sector?

  1. Implementation costs: Launching a notarization project on blockchain can be expensive and complex. At Archipels, we have made sure to develop a notarization interface that is easy to use, but also easy to integrate. Indeed, thanks to our certification API, integration with proprietary application ecosystems is greatly simplified.  
  1. Personal data protection management: It is crucial to address the issue of personal data protection. This is why it is essential to look at the nature of the actors operating on the trust infrastructures but also at the prevention measures to protect oneself from possible attacks. Archipels' sovereign blockchain is co-owned by French trusted third parties. Moreover, Archipels is greatly inspired by the principles of Self-Sovereign Identity which respects the RGPD.
  1. Interoperability is essential: For an efficient notarization on blockchain, it is necessary to ensure that the notarization procedures are interoperable and standardized. It is indeed essential that all actors and organizations working with governmental organizations can collaborate efficiently. At Archipels, our platform has been designed with this philosophy of interoperability in mind, making notarization and verification processes compatible with all technological standards.
  1. The importance of adoption: notarization on blockchain brings its share of benefits that we have detailed in this article. On the other hand, without raising the awareness of all the stakeholders, without accompanying the business specialists in their missions, it is very difficult to exploit the considerable advantages of blockchain. This is an experience that we have at Archipels since we have accompanied the integration of our certification platform with the teams of Digiposte, Infogreffe or CAB Formation. Encouraging operational teams to participate in the adoption and use of a notarization platform is vital to a successful implementation.

Which blockchain to choose for the public sector?

Once the technology is understood, the use cases identified and the pitfalls to be avoided highlighted, one might think that the execution of a project of this scale could take place on any type of blockchain. But this would be to ignore the diversity of blockchains that exist on the market and, as a result, neglect the importance of making the right choice for the public sector. If the private blockchain allows the control of the registry by a single actor (and is therefore completely dependent on it in case of failure), the possibility for any actor of a public blockchain to anchor data can raise the question of the legitimacy of the issuer of a transaction.

This is why the consortium blockchain, the model on which Archipels is based, the result of a consortium between Caisse des Dépôts, EDF, ENGIE and the French Post Office, is a good compromise. Indeed, by ensuring the control of data validation to trusted public actors, and thus securing transactions, any public actor wishing to put trust at the heart of its processes could not choose a better register.

Ready to get started?

Notarization on blockchain provides unique guarantees that any public or private actor can easily exploit. By promising the verifiability of authentic data and documents, secured by blockchain technology, this method effectively combats fraud, while greatly simplifying business processes. Taking into consideration the challenges of a successful implementation, any public stakeholder who wants to launch their project can start the conversation with our sales team today to carefully plan a smooth integration.

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