China's government auditor thinks blockchain can "open up a window" to more streamlined data storage.
In an article published Tuesday on its website, the National Audit Office of the People's Republic of China discussed using blockchain to alleviate the bottleneck caused by its current data storage infrastructure. At present, the office is responsible for a massive amount of data, which it believes can be stored more efficiently on a decentralized ledger.
The National Audit Office, as one of the 29 cabinet-level departments in China's State Council, examines all government-related financial transactions, ranging from administration expenses to individual public programs. It also supervises provincial and municipal level auditing bureaus that have their own designated commissioners.
Envisioning a decentralized system that would have every local office and accredited auditor as an individual node, the article states that a blockchain can reduce the central government's workload while ensuring a traceable ledger that timestamps every transaction at all levels.
While still theoretical, the article offers a window into the thinking of a state-level government body in China regarding blockchain technology. It remains to be seen whether any work will actually go into developing this theoretical system.
According to the article, the need for decentralization stems from the existing operational model adopted by the central office, which is the only department that stores every piece of data reported by its commissioners at the provincial and municipal levels.
"Since bureaus at these levels do not keep the data, the National Audit Office runs into the situation where we have to expand our software and hardware capacity indefinitely - which is a 'vicious circle,'" the Office wrote, concluding:
"The concept of blockchain and technology will offer us a window into solving [the] basket of problems mentioned above."
Government building in Beijing via Shutterstock