December 6, 2022

October 31, 2023

Web3 and the Public Sector

Throughout its short history, the Internet has shifted how public services can be delivered. Web3, as the Internet’s latest iteration, presents a new ecosystem of solutions that could eventually generate tangible value for governments as well.

Against the backdrop of current events in the Web3 space, this might seem counterintuitive. After nearly a decade of meteoric investments and glossy articles theorising applications of Web3 in nearly every domain, recent bankruptcies of major cryptocurrency companies and exchanges have cast a shadow over the sector. 

Certainly, it has become clear that Web3 is not a silver bullet. Sometimes, it has appeared to be a solution in search of a problem. For policymakers and public officials, accurately assessing the relevance that Web3 and the Distributed Ledger Technology underlying it may have for their work has been difficult, as abundant technical jargon and a dearth of non-financial applications shroud the sector in mystery. 

But seeing through the hype, gloom, and jargon is worth the effort. Today, organisations leveraging the technologies of Web3 are making real contributions to public value – from helping activists share and protect open-source intelligence in Hong Kong and Ukraine to supporting the tracking of CO2 emissions based on sensitive company data. Far from threatening to replace governments, these organisations are aligned with governmental goals and may conceivably serve as a valuable tool in their belt.

To help policymakers and public officials identify, engage, and leverage those aspects of the Web3 space that could make tangible contributions to the delivery of public value, the report at hand makes four contributions:

  1. Following the introduction, a first section contextualises the emergence of Web3 in the larger history of the Internet and its effects on public service delivery.
  2. A second section offers easy-to-understand yet in-depth explanations of the key concepts and technologies underlying the emerging Web3 paradigm.
  3. A third section provides a brief overview of the Web3 efforts that some governments have already undertaken, and contrasts them with the opportunity to engage organisations outside government already leveraging Web3 for public value.
  4. The report concludes by offering a framework that may help policymakers and public officials determine the applicability of Web3 solutions in a given context, as well as a glossary of key concepts.

Fil Lekkas, Head of International Growth & Venture Strategy

As with any GovTech innovation, capitalising on the opportunities provided by Web3 requires policymakers and public officials to attain a grasp of the core concepts and key technologies at play.


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Ryan Shea

Managing Director

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