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Mexico has shown regional leadership in the area of financial technologies. One example is the recent approval of the Fintech Law in March of this year; several government initiatives have emerged surrounding blockchain technology because of it. A few entities have promoted many public consultations to guide the strategy of creating a national blockchain network. They expect Mexico to be a blockchain nation soon.
Laying the Foundation for Transition
Recently Yolanda Martínez Mancilla, coordinator of the office of Estrategia Digital Nacional (EDN), made statements about Mexico’s blockchain initiatives. The EDN, which began in 2013, was born with five primary objectives.
“In addition to promoting the digital economy, digital education, universal and effective health for the population, and guaranteeing citizen security, the EDN proposes a governmental transformation that will make it possible to build a new relationship between the government and society, focused on the experience of the citizen as a user of public services, through the adoption of the use of ICTs in the Government of the Republic.”
The official points out that the objective of transformation and governmental efficiency of the EDN is aligned with the Iniciativa Alianza Contra la Corrupción (PACI, by its acronym in English) promoted since 2004 by the World Economic Forum. In 2017, it also recommended Mexico to use Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to innovate in the provision of public services.
The office of the EDN, which depends on the Presidency of the Republic and the Unidad de Gobierno Digital (UGD) of the Secretariat of Public Function, has been in charge of these initiatives. They started Blockchain HACKMX with the objective of stimulating government projects and creating real use cases.
In July 2017, the Campus Party event was held in Guadalajara, which showcased blockchain technology as an area of priority. The first Blockchain HACKMX, oriented to public administration projects, was also held. The winner of the hackathon was a prototype of a bidding system based on the blockchain.
Last week the Mexican government officially began presenting all of the cases of usability for the nation based on the projects pitched during these events. Acting on an agenda to partner startups with the government to improve the technology sector.
The EDN coordinator said:
“We have the support of an Advisory Council, with representatives of the academic community and ecosystem businesses.”
Public Consultation through Google Drive
On August 14, the EDN submitted the “Governance Model to create the Blockchain Mexico Network,” a Google Drive document where collaborative contributions can be made in real time. This initiative has a duration of six weeks and seeks to collect suggestions to form a national blockchain where relevant applications can be deployed.
During the last two weeks, dozens of people provided input around the Blockchain MX Document. One of the most notorious criticisms has been on semantics since the word “governance” is considered by some participants as contrary to the first philosophy of the blockchain. As the document is editable, one of the participants proposed the title “Modelo de la Red Blockchain México.” Subsequently, the government considered that all these opinions are valid and will be taken into account for the final proposal.
“We are promoting this initiative from the Government but the idea is not that it is a government network, but a public network in which actors from different sectors enable and participate in the network. We also hope to receive more feedback that will allow us to improve the design of this network.”
The second phase of this consultation has to do with the technical aspects of the proposal, Martinez said.
“With this second instrument, we want to collect information from all public or private organizations, the academic sector or individuals who are already using blockchain technology.”
The community has been asked about the type of blockchain used, mentioning seven options: Bitcoin, Hyperledger, Ethereum, NEM, Chain, Corda, or other (which would have to be proposed by citizens).
Reasons to Look for a National Blockchain
Among the most significant benefits of blockchain technology are transparency and irrefutability. The first of these comes from the nature of an open network of peers. With decentralized decisions, a public transaction ledger, and cryptographic mechanisms, each block of transactions cannot be altered without invalidating all subsequent blocks. These reasons are why blockchain attracts the interest of companies and governments all over the world. Transparency is achievable, and middlemen are removed, saving costs in both the private and public sector.