In the Balkan region, experts all too often lament the devastating impact of government corruption on business.
Again and again, those with an eye on the national economies of these nations claim that rampant government corruption is simply holding growth back.
Rik Willard at Agentic Group thinks that a technology called blockchain has the capability to solve many of these corruption problems, at least those related to amounts of money. But it won't happen overnight.
Blockchain technology is a digital ledger system that accurately tracks the flow of money in various currencies.
Talking about the “immutable ledger” the blockchain provides, Willard said it can make some forms of embezzlement and fraud impossible.
“If money is going somewhere, it will record how much, who, where and when,” Willard told Balkan Business Wire.
He said blockchain has the potential to fix some of the forms of corruption citizens in places like Kosovo and Bulgaria are so upset about.
“It disallows false ledgers," he said.
Willard pointed to examples in the country of Estonia, where digital citizenship confers certain rights on individuals, and anticorruption efforts are underway. This Baltic Sea community, so close to countries like Kosovo and Albania, shows how regional governments can tackle problems with financial corruption.
However, Willard said new efforts to implement blockchain and related transparencies are still a work in progress
“Everything right now is in a proof-of-concept phase,” Willard said. “What's being done is a lot of tests.”
These tests could revolutionize life in places that are beset by corruption; late last year, Balkan Insight found that Kosovo and Bosnia ranked highest on the corruption scale within the Balkan region. Other countries, like Bulgaria, are not without similar issues. All of it is depressing business, many of the startup leaders have told Balkan Business Wire.