Special Issue "Applications of Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts to Public Administration, Health Care and Education"

A special issue of Informatics (ISSN 2227-9709).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Remo Pareschi

Associate Professor of Computer Science Program, Department of Bioscience and Territory, University of Molise, Contrada di Fonte Lappone, 86090 Pesche (IS), Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Social Computing, Knowledge Management, Collective Intelligence, Content Analysis, Natural Language Man–Machine Interfaces, Distributed Ledgers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Distributed ledgers such as blockchains are distributed databases where information is shared and synchronized in a peer-to-peer fashion across all participants, thus avoiding the need of a trusted party with privileges in the management of information. Distributed ledger technology has come to the attention of the public through one application which has had enormous success, namely cryptocurrencies which, starting with Bitcoin and following with numerous others, are revolutionizing the economy by eliminating trustees and other kinds of supervisors responsible for the correct circulation of money. This initial application was then extended to the more general area of smart contracts, with platforms such as Ethereum, which support the automation of complex contractual relationships among distributed, heterogeneous parties. Until now, the applications of smart contracts have remained substantially within the realm of digital currencies, for instance with the creation of personalized coins in the form of tokens capable of giving the initial input of monetary energy needed to bootstrap an ecosystem of innovative and distributed organizations, as is the case with the so called "initial coin offerings".

Smart contracts and distributed ledgers promise, however, to be very effective even in other areas of general interest, such as public administration, health, and education. Specifically, distributed ledgers can make public administrations fully transparent, thus avoiding opacity and corruption in the management of resources contributed by taxpayers; and smart contracts can automate and synchronize administrative processes, thus curbing inefficiencies, delays, and bottlenecks. Healthcare could be radically improved through access to a common database of health information shared across the variety of adopted electronic medical systems, leading to greater security and privacy, less administrative burden for both doctors and patients, and optimal diffusion of search results which could facilitate better drugs and therapies. Education can be made more widespread and effective through the sharing of educational resources, and people's profiles can be certified on the basis of their educational and professional career with maximum transparency and visibility.

We call for contributions on the application of distributed ledgers and smart contracts in the areas of public administration, government, education, and health care, including but not restricted to the following specific topics:

  • Distributed ledgers for e-government
  • Distributed workflow management for public administrations with smart contracts
  • Distributed ledgers for digital identities
  • Distributed ledgers for environmental safety
  • Distributed ledgers for service development in developing countries
  • Distributed ledgers for land registration
  • Distributed ledgers for healthcare management
  • Distributed ledgers for the support of clinical research
  • Distributed ledgers for genomic data banks
  • Distributed ledgers for the certification of skills and competencies
  • Distributed ledgers for tracking intellectual property
  • Smart contracts for a distributed marketplace of competencies

Prof. Dr. Remo Pareschi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Informatics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • distributed ledger
  • blockchain
  • smart contract
  • government
  • public administration
  • healthcare
  • clinical research
  • education
  • certification

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
IGR Token-Raw Material and Ingredient Certification of Recipe Based Foods Using Smart Contracts
Informatics 2019, 6(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics6010011
Received: 24 November 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
The use of smart contracts and blockchain tokens to implement a consumer trustworthy ingredient certification scheme for commingled foods, i.e., recipe based, food products is described. The proposed framework allows ingredients that carry any desired property (including social or environmental customer perceived value) [...] Read more.
The use of smart contracts and blockchain tokens to implement a consumer trustworthy ingredient certification scheme for commingled foods, i.e., recipe based, food products is described. The proposed framework allows ingredients that carry any desired property (including social or environmental customer perceived value) to be certified by any certification authority, at the moment of harvest or extraction, using the IGR Ethereum token. The mechanism involves the transfer of tokens containing the internet url published at the authority’s web site from the farmer all along the supply chain to the final consumer at each transfer of custody of the ingredient using the Cricital Tracking Event/Key Data Elements (CTE/KDE) philosophy of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). This allows the end consumer to easily inspect and be assured of the origin of the ingredient by means of a mobile application. A successful code implementation of the framework was deployed, tested and is running as a beta version on the Ethereum live blockchain as the IGR token. The main contribution of the framework is the possibility to ensure the true origin of any instance or lot of ingredient within a recipe to the customer, without harming the food processor legitimate right to protect its recipes and suppliers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Applications of Blockchain Technology to Logistics Management in Integrated Casinos and Entertainment
Informatics 2018, 5(4), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics5040044
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 18 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The gaming industry has evolved into a multi-functional smart city that combines integrated casinos and entertainment (ICE). ICE logistics involve supply chains with various stages in geographically-distributed locations and with limited and complex storage and warehouses. Challenges are to leverage demands, traffic, and [...] Read more.
The gaming industry has evolved into a multi-functional smart city that combines integrated casinos and entertainment (ICE). ICE logistics involve supply chains with various stages in geographically-distributed locations and with limited and complex storage and warehouses. Challenges are to leverage demands, traffic, and storage allocation in ICE logistics. The decentralized structure of blockchain technology allows all parties to participate in ICE logistics. Its cryptography-based, immutable nature gives the assurance of security. This research deals with the design and application of blockchains in ICE logistics. We first adopt a Concentric Value Circles (CVC) model to identify the requirements and business opportunities that use blockchain technology in ICE logistics. We develop an open, automated, and transparent platform, TransICE, which utilizes the feature of smart contracts in blockchain technology and adopts a decentralized model, Hawk, where no financial transactions are stored on the blockchain to hold privacy of transactions publicly. Two cases, (1) the Shipment Pricing and Scheduling process and (2) the Pickup, Shipping and Delivery process in TransICE, are studied to illustrate the applications and feasibility of the proposed TransICE platform and the developed smart contracts of the Hawk model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Blockchain-Based Supply Chain for Postage Stamps
Informatics 2018, 5(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics5040042
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1594 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Counterfeit and unaccounted postage stamps used on mailings cost postal administrations a significant amount of money each year. Corporate and individual clients become victim to stamp fraud and incur losses when security teams investigate such mailings. The blockchain technology is supposed to be [...] Read more.
Counterfeit and unaccounted postage stamps used on mailings cost postal administrations a significant amount of money each year. Corporate and individual clients become victim to stamp fraud and incur losses when security teams investigate such mailings. The blockchain technology is supposed to be a solution to make postage stamps market transparent and to guarantee invariability of stamps volume produced and used. The blockchain-based supply chain for postage stamps is introduced in the article. Full article
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