8. März 2021

Canton of Zurich publishes blockchain guide for authorities

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Canton of Zurich publishes blockchain guide for authorities and public offices

The Canton of Zurich has published a blockchain guide for public authorities and offices to help them decide whether to use blockchain services from external providers.

On 26 February, the Canton of Zurich published a Bitcoin Bank blockchain guide for authorities and official offices as a decision-making aid on the possible use of blockchain services.

Guide for public offices

The guide, which is available online and is entitled „Blockchain in the public administration: new practice-oriented guide as a decision-making aid“, is intended to „enable interested public offices to assess the business cases of their department in a structured and efficient manner with regard to the feasibility and benefits of blockchain technology“.

With its help, public authorities are to be put in a position to check offers from external blockchain providers for their suitability and seriousness. The 34-page document was prepared as part of a cooperation between the State Chancellery, the Blockchain Center of the University of Zurich and the software provider Ergon Informatik.

The guideline assesses the use of blockchain technology as basically „worth examining“ if at least one of the following four project goals is to be achieved: cross-organisational cooperation, decentralised management of data and processes, distributed control and increased trust.

According to the authors, blockchain technology offers many conceivable advantages, such as e-documentation and liability, more efficient administrative processes and improved collaboration.

From a regulatory perspective, it is important to consider where the performance limits of the technology lie. The guide mentions transaction speed, processing time and availability as well as possible security gaps in the handling of data as possible hurdles. The successful use of blockchain technology in a particular area of government also depends on its level of maturity in terms of digitalised business processes.

Blockchain commitment in the Canton of Zurich

In addition to the so-called Crypto Valley Zug, the Canton of Zurich in Switzerland is an important location for crypto initiatives. For example, the crypto bank Sygnum operates its business from Zurich. The blockchain hub Trust Square is also located in Zurich.