Red tape, bureaucracy — whatever you want to call it — is the reason why everybody dreads going to the DMV (or any government office, for that matter). Romania might have the answer to this, and it involves the use of NFTs.
On June 14, Romania’s National Institute for Research and Development In Informatics (ICI) announced an ongoing project that’s slated to make life easier for all its citizens, web3 native or not. It’s an institutional NFT marketplace that, according to ICI Director Adrian Vevera, would “evolve the collaboration between citizens and institutions using a modern digital framework.”
Say goodbye to your physical wallet
In this institutional NFT marketplace, citizens will be able to utilize existing NFT technologies to access, transfer, and store official documents safely and securely on a digital ledger — an NFT.
Reportedly, these documents will range from birth certificates and driver’s licenses to land or property deeds. Once fully rolled out, Romanian citizens will then be able to have NFT equivalents of all their important documents stored in one convenient digital location. The Romanian government is working closely with Elrond Network to make this possible.
So how will it all work?
A true modernization effort
This project, dubbed Romania’s National System for Issuers and Assets (NSIDA) is set to offer citizens a secure NFT marketplace where they will be able to acquire verified government documents without physically going to a government office. On top of this, the ICI is also hoping to utilize the Elrond Network to decentralize digital communication for Romania’s critical public resources, making them more secure and accessible.
So would this change in infrastructure make physical licenses, documents, and certificates obsolete? Not quite — this move will just make engaging with the government online far easier for Romanian citizens and government employees alike.
In an interview with nft now, Elrond CEO Beniamin Mincu stated that “NFTs represent provenance of creation and ownership for digital assets, such as government documents. Being recorded on a distributed public ledger, everything is transparent and traceable, thereby the sharing of data between government institutions can be enhanced, reducing bureaucracy and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government services.”
Not only would this new system add new layers of security to the government documents of Romanian citizens, but it would also remove much of the friction that normally comes with interacting with the government. “For citizens, the ability to prove the authenticity and ownership by just scanning a QR code or simply providing a herotag that stands as a username replacement for long string public addresses can lead to a smoother experience when interacting with the government,” Mincu said.
Transforming public administration
Reportedly, this system won’t just cut back on bureaucratic inefficiencies across Romania’s public services; it may also give Romanian citizens greater access to financial services such as loans moving forward. According to Mincu, “through the open and permissionless public blockchain technology of the Elrond Network, NFTs can act as digital assets that can be globally tradeable, thus removing the friction of property ownership transfers and enabling a new internet economy that will grant easier access to financial services, such as taking loans against properties.”
Further, Vevera believes that the implementation of web3 technologies like NFTs “can transform public administration and help its institutions and processes leap forward in terms of efficiency and speed while decreasing costs, overhead and excessive bureaucratic activities.”
Currently, this planned initiative by Romania’s ICI marks the first of its kind in the entire European Union. Should it prove to be a success, governments across Europe — and maybe even the world — will have a win-win situation on their hands. Transferring a bulk of government services online will offer them a seamless method to cut down on costs, while simultaneously making life more convenient for their constituents.
“The intersection of governance and technology creates a universe of opportunities for advancing society,” Mincu said in a press release. Let’s hope this specific intersection pans out.
Editor’s note: nft now received this news under embargo. After the embargo lifted, we were informed that the embargo date and salient information changed. This article has been republished and updated with additional information from Elrond.