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Canada using blockchain for transparent administration of Government contracts


The National Research Council of Canada (NRC), a government body, announced that it has built an Ethereum blockchain explorer. The news comes at a time when many innovation experts are heralding blockchain technology as the way of the future.

On the simplest level, blockchains are public ledgers that record transactions shared among many users. Once data is entered on a blockchain, it is secure and unalterable, and provides a permanent record. Blockchains provide the ultimate in transparency and trust, making this technology an exciting prospect for organizations that strive to conduct transparent business. In June 2017, the National Research Council of Canada, through its Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), hosted a blockchain kickoff session that brought together colleagues from across Government. At this meeting, NRC IRAP unveiled its plans to test the viability of blockchain technology in administering the Program’s Contribution Agreements (innovation funding) with Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The experiment would provide a first real-use case of its kind for Government and other public institutions.

Exploring new ways to benefit from blockchain technology

In January 2018, NRC IRAP successfully launched the Government of Canada’s first-ever live trial of public blockchain technology on Ethereum for the transparent administration of government contracts. The program began proactively publishing information on new and amended Contribution Agreements with firms in real time.

Since the launch, NRC IRAP has been exploring ways to expand its experiment with blockchain and reliably share data with the public. The program is now hosting its blockchain explorer application, developed by Bitaccess, on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).

A few words about the Interplanetary File System

IPFS functions as a peer-to-peer method of storing and sharing data in a distributed manner. Unlike regular webpages, web applications hosted on IPFS are unalterable and can be accessed far into the future, even if the original web host has gone offline. In other words, the web application used to view NRC IRAP’s blockchain data — also known as a blockchain explorer — is not being hosted in only one location where it could be subject to site failure or other access issues. Instead, the move to IPFS will ensure the application is hosted by a multitude of computers so data is always accessible and immutable. “IPFS connects all these different blockchains in a way that’s similar to how the web connects all these websites together. The same way that you can drop a link on one page that links to another page, you can drop a link in Ethereum that links to zcash and IPFS can resolve all of that” stated Juan Benet, the inventor of Interplanetary File System.

Modex Blockchain Labs Vancouver

Speaking about expanding the Modex Blockchain Labs concept worldwide — after opening Romania’s first blockchain hub in Bucharest and one in London — Mihai Ivascu, CEO and Founder Modex, stated: “We are working very hard to build the Modex network around the world, to expand the Modex Blockchain Labs concept. I am proud to announce that we’ll be launching, together with our healthcare partner the Modex Blockchain Labs Healthcare in Vancouver, Canada. We are also launching our Modex Blockchain Labs in Silicon Valley, in partnership with Silicon Valley Innovation Center. Together with Veridate, one of the biggest KYC providers in Asia, we’ll be launching Modex Blockchain Labs KYC in Hong Kong and we are planning with Smart Dubai to launch our Blockchain Labs also there.”

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