Following another corruption scandal, the Puerto Rican government is trying to improve its anti-corruption efforts by introducing blockchain technology.

Puerto Rican House Speaker Rafael “Tateto” Hernandez announced that lawmakers will meet with local blockchain enthusiasts this month to discuss the possibility of using blockchain technology to curb corruption.

The implementation of blockchain and smart contracts can increase the transparency and accountability of the public sector, the official said at the Blockchain Trade Association conference in Puerto Rico, Bloomberg reported on December 6.

“We have a real trust issue, and that may be part of the solution,” Hernandez said, adding that broader efforts are also underway to make Puerto Rico a hub for crypto and blockchain innovation. The nascent industry could be a way for the bankrupt Commonwealth to revive its economy, the official said.

“Back in the 1960s and 1970s, we had a production site. […] This is a new niche, a new opportunity for job creation, said Hernandez.

The spokesman’s comments came amid growing concerns about corruption in Puerto Rico, where the local mayor is said to have pleaded guilty to receiving more than $ 100,000 in bribes last week.

Puerto Rico is not alone in exploring the potential anti-corruption properties of technologies such as blockchain and digital currency. Last year, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the blockchain’s ability to fight administrative and political corruption. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime also advised Kenya to use the blockchain to fight government corruption in November 2020.

On the subject: The Government of Gibraltar plans to bridge the public-private divide by the blockchain

While many jurisdictions view underlying cryptocurrency technology as a tool to eradicate corruption, some governments, such as Russia, prohibit their representatives and officials from owning cryptocurrencies, citing concerns about corruption.

Russia, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, can actually use cryptocurrency to curb corruption, according to Maria Agranovskaya, a lawyer and financial technology expert at the Russian State Duma. Agranovskaya told the Cointelegraph that criticism of illegal activities such as corruption is more common because it is difficult to track:

“If you move KYC and AML correctly in the beginning, it will be much easier to track cryptocurrencies and the right rules of the game should be set.”

Source: CoinTelegraph

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