Scottish Government

Investigating the Opportunity for Distributed Ledger in Scotland

The Scottish Government

In March 2017 The Scottish Government identified Distributed Ledger Technology, including blockchain, as a tool which can address common issues in digital public services.

The Digital Directorate committed to exploring its potential and to sharing best practice with progressive international governments. SICCAR, in partnership with the Scottish Government, conducted international and local research into the application of DLT in digital public services.


We conducted interviews with digital public services leaders of central and local government, at a UK and international level, and assessed the global DLT ecosystem.

This research found an overwhelming international consensus of DLT’s significant role in underpinning future digital government. It found significant scope and support for DLT use in Scottish digital public services, and identified potential social benefits and economic impact. It also identified significant barriers to optimal deployment, including co-ordinated leadership across the public sector in driving cross-government collaboration.


  • DLT makes it possible to register and record, share and transfer value or valuable information in a secure and tamper proof way, to only the intended recipients.
  • Our research uncovered a significant global innovation ecosystem focussed on building future digital public services with DLT—spanning government, policy and research, but also driven from the private sector.
  • We found significant scope and support for the use of DLT in Scottish digital public services. 

The overarching research recommendation is that Scotland join the international ecosystem as an active participant, and develop a Scottish vision together with universities and business.

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