A partnership between Cambridge-based advanced software company Nyriad and Spark-owned cloud provider Revera will pave the way for New Zealand government departments to manage sensitive data using blockchain ‘digital ledger’ technology.
Three years in the making, the pilot launched this week will see government organisations test data sets using Nyriad’s real-time blockchain software platform delivered from Revera’s AoG-certified Homeland Cloud.
Heralded as the world’s first cryptographically verifiable cloud service for real-time big data applications, the pilot is behind a move to provide next-generation IT platforms to help government agencies simplify the management of trusted information.
Blockchains are inherently resistant to data modification, providing an open, distributed ledger that records transactions between two parties in a verifiable and permanent way.
Revera CEO Robin Cockayne said government agencies faced growing risks as they delivered more data-rich services. While encryption had largely closed the door on criminal activity such as identity fraud and manipulation, he said blockchain technology made breaches from within or without the system all but impossible.
“Traditional data-sharing practices place a huge tax on large organisations, requiring massive resources to maintain the security and integrity of data,” said Cockayne. “Blockchain protocols are the building blocks of smart data, introducing a secure system to automate sharing when certain conditions have been met. It may even allow citizens to manage their own information kept by government.”
Nyriad founder and CEO Matthew Simmons said his company’s real-time blockchain storage technology was the first platform in the world that enabled public organisations to prove they were handling information in a way that satisfied strict security standards and facilitated real-time data sharing, openness, and collaboration.
“We believe this pilot will demonstrate that IT trust can be built with our real-time Blockchain File-Systems,” he said.
Simmons said the company had fielded enquires from several European governments looking for technology that supported auditable international data exchange and inter-governmental collaboration.
He said interest in his company’s technology stemmed from EU legislation called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which aims primarily to give control back to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.