Tajik government taps blockchain firm for e-government infrastructure

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President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon is pursuing an ambitious integration of blockchain technology into his government’s ongoing modernization drive. 

According to an announcement from smart contract platform Fantom, a new public-private partnership between the Fantom Foundation and the Tajik Ministry of Industry of New Technologies will see the two roll out a range of blockchain-based solutions across nationwide IT infrastructure.

The scope of the partnership is to research, develop and implement various blockchain-enabled data-sharing, transparency and automation solutions. As a first step, the partners will establish a research and development hub to train local developers in building blockchain-based systems. In parallel, Fantom will thoroughly review existing data flows and documentation at the ministry and propose solutions that can streamline legacy processes and potentially boost productivity. Fantom will also look into the potential value of central bank digital currency issuance for the country’s payments system.

The Republic of Tajikistan’s modernization program, which has been in motion since President Rahmon assumed power in 1994, has most recently resulted in the 2019 legislative agenda to widen broadband access, expand technology training programs and create dedicated agencies to oversee the digitalization of national IT infrastructure.

Regarding the new initiative to innovate e-government strategies through blockchain, Fantom director of South Asia Jawid Sikandar said:

“Following our success in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the agreement to begin work in Tajikistan truly underscores the ways Fantom’s solutions respond to the pressing needs of growing economies. It is tremendously gratifying to know that we can play a part in helping these countries reach their development milestones.” 

As previously reported, Fantom’s technology is not strictly blockchain in the conventional sense but draws upon what is called directed acyclic graph, or DAG, technology. DAG-based protocols allow for the asynchronous confirmation of transactions, meaning that network participants don’t need to form a single queue for block space as they would in a typical blockchain. Conflux, Hedera Hashgraph, IOTA and Nano are all companies in the broad blockchain landscape that make use of DAG protocols and their potential to support a higher transaction throughput.

Fantom’s previous engagements in Central Asia and South Asia have included the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Pakistan Punjab Prisons Department to formalize the beginning of blockchain-based software implementations. The company also continues to collaborate with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health, including work on a blockchain-based product to prevent the circulation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals