By Meleasie Goviro – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The recently-introduced Blockchain technology is beginning to gain traction in support from various organizations. The upcoming Blockchain Pacifik 2018 Convention is one such event set to promote its use, backed by two Provincial Governors and a number of key partners including APEC.
Blockchain Pacifik is a fully Papua New Guinean run initiative; an ambitious event set to take place in October. It was formally launched on Tuesday (July 3) and aims to inform Papua New Guineans on the many uses and benefits of Blockchain. The smart-technology in simple terms ‘is a network that cannot be controlled by a single person and hence encourages transparency and accountability. Blockchain Pasifik Team leader Rex Paura explained; “In a nutshell it is a database.
“A creator comes up with the block, and the block is then distributed on all other computers, so everyone has the right to look at it. But to change [information] everybody has to have consensus. It is a decentralized, democratic…way of trying to change a record”
The concept of a technology that can support democracy has attracted support from provincial governments.
Platinum Sponsor, NCD Governor Powes Parkop has made an initial donation of K50, 000 to support Blockchain Pacifik.
Governor Parkop says a technology like blockchain can become practical for the public sector. He said “land titles for example…with the type of technology now people can create so many land titles or Court documents. With blockchain technology, you cannot copy and make a new document… it stops fraud, it stops corruption…”
He says blockchain can also be utilized to ease public access to government services (building permits, physical planning permit, legal licensing etc) “Such technology will cut down corruption, make efficiency much better, businesses will grow and much more opportunities will be created.” Governor Parkop remarked.
Oro Governor Gary Juffa has also shown keen interest in using the smart-technology to address issues that concern him. He said “I am excited about its potential for improving good governance and especially how it can be used to protect our environment. These are my areas of concern.
“Blockchain has the potential to be utilized by everyone and anyone. Especially those who are going to be making decisions that are going to improve the lives of our people.”
Governor Juffa says it could prove useful in improving good governance, management of PNG’s resources, holding government authorities accountable, cutting down costs and eliminating the middleman syndrome. “The middleman I’d say are characters who prey on ignorance; who actually use corrupt systems to be able to benefit from other people” He said.
He is also in support of the notion of a blockchain voting system. “If you can use blockchain to improve voting in such a way that it minimizes voting or electoral fraud and…genuine leaders are elected into Parliament, that’s a huge plus. These are the type of people [needed] in there, making decisions that the country will need” said the Oro Governor.
But blockchain is a relatively new concept to PNG and there is much to be learnt about before it can be used efficiently. Pacifik Blockchain aims to break that knowledge barrier.
The 2-day convention is set to bring in experts from around the world and various big-name developers of Blockchain Technology from Europe and the America. Participants are expect to learn how Blockchain can assist with fighting corruption; foreign exchange challenges in the Pacific; driving new business models; decentralized identity and ledger systems and the risks and advantages of Crypto-Investment.
Gold Sponsor, APEC, will be facilitating the event at the International Convention Centre in Port Moresby. Other key partners and sponsors include Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), National Superannuation Fund (NASFUND), Em Stret Holdings, Ultim8 PR Coin-sure Ltd.