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Is It Time for a Constitutional Digital Transformation?

by Matthew Harris

Thanks to the digital age, a great portion of our lives has undergone a metamorphosis in the past couple of decades and our daily newspapers, monthly magazines, and best-selling books were some of the first to transform. However, we’ve also seen improvements in our IT infrastructures, manufacturing and billing abilities, and of course, currency, and the list goes on and on, thanks to technological advancements in just a few key areas.

While the cloud has been responsible for enabling a great number of industries to transform numerous aspects of their operations, and cryptocurrencies have revolutionized the financial freedom of the world, the full capabilities of blockchain are just now being explored.

It’s no secret that I’m a firm believer in the viability and future potential of the digital-trinity of: blockchain, smart contracts, and distributed ledgers, but I also want to point out that I am indeed American and proudly so, sporting multiple American bald eagle tattoos (among my many) and displaying the flag on my home. I am vehement in my belief in the constitution and the rights it grants to each and every citizen and while I may not agree with your opinion, I’ll damn sure fight for your right to voice it.

Now, I know that in a few recent articles I’ve voiced my displeasure with the current administration and the overall “state of the union.” I’ve had a bit of fun, and experienced some abject horror, speculating how blockchain could be used by both the “left” and “right” for both good and ill intents, but today I want to focus on an idea that could ensure our constitutional freedoms forevermore. Therefore, this article isn’t necessarily aimed at anyone in particular, at least not at this point in my thought process, but is meant to start a conversation on, what I think, is possibly the ultimate use for blockchain.

The Ultimate Infrastructure

The United States Constitution is the foundation of our country. With a few ratifications and amendments, it has ensured that both you and I, as well as our grandparents and grandchildren in many cases, have been granted inherent rights for over 200 years. But it has also been circumvented and outright ignored on more than one occasion by more than one administration or leader.

Think about it, we’ve seen everything! Government funds, which of course come from our pockets, paid to questionable or outright illegal recipients without Congressional approval. Military arms being sold to countries that Congress has outright voted down. Judges from all levels making life-altering decisions based on conflicts of interest or even illegal payments. A police raid on a journalist in order to illegally obtain a source. And then of course, there’s the contempt of Congress of late with the White House refusing to turn over papers, blocking people from testifying, etc, etc. etc.

And that’s just the tip of the tip of the tippy-top tip of the iceberg.

Could blockchain and smart contracts eliminate a good portion of these Constitutional conundrums?

I think it’s quite possible.

With the Constitution as the “white paper” per se, and forcing EVERY leader to utilize the blockchain system for automatic approvals or voting based on the request and laws, the possibilities for fraud and circumvention could be lessened greatly.

With currency monitoring via blockchain or outright transition to cryptocurrency, a future leader that wishes to grant millions of dollars to a foreign country would have to follow all procedures and meet all requirements before the funds would be released.

Likewise, a blockchain inventory of all government acquisitions and sales would mean that all arms deals would have to meet the prerequisite standards or pass Congressional vote before shipment.

Utilizing the blockchain to “inventory” our leaders’ business interests, finances, and associations could prevent conflicts and special-interest influence and ensure that everyone receives a fair opportunity.

This same blockchain could ensure that our judges follow the law and precedent when laying down rulings or sentencing civilians to prison. No more probation for rapists or twenty years for a first time marijuana offense. They have to enter all the aspects of the case into the new system and then IT gives the recommended sentence based on law and law alone.

When a police department requests approval for a warrant, especially the search of a civilian’s home, they must enter the information under penalty of perjury for incorrect or fraudulent “facts” and once again, the judge must enter his or her decision into the system for approval and, of course, visibility.

An administration that is required to create a digital copy of every note, file, recording, etc. on the blockchain would again ensure visibility, but it would also totally eliminate the opportunity for any possible destruction of emails/records. Additionally, with smart contracts, no one, not even the President, could obstruct Congressional requests for records.

As I’ve said before, moving our voting to a blockchain-based system should be a priority. It would transform the definition and strength of the individual vote and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to have their vote count while providing better transparency and fraud prevention than ever before. With every politician’s vote being on-chain, constituents can make much better voting decisions. But that would be just a small part of the overall chain.

The most important aspect of this idea is that nothing gets approved if found to be in violation of the Constitution.

A system like this would ensure that every aspect of the government is indeed for “We the People” and not influenced by personal feelings, outside interests, foreign entities, financial gains, etc.

And who are the miners for this National blockchain?

We are!

A blockchain by the people, for the people.

Now, I know there are a lot of holes in this plan but I’ve never claimed to be a genius. I just happen to have a lot of faith in the developers of the day and the capabilities of blockchain and smart contracts. Sure, it would literally take an act of Congress and a virtual ton of programming and restructuring to see this come to life, but the point is… it could be done.

And it could change everything!

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