Luxembourg will be the testing ground for a new blockchain technology application that could detect fraudulent invoice documents, which could be used for all institutional publications.
Speaking on the sidelines of the EU publications office’s future of publishing conference on Wednesday, Spyridon Pilos of the European Court of Auditors’ information, workplace and innovation directorate told Delano that proof of concept for the application had been run with a Luxembourg company from May to June.
“The idea was we would like to have a way for our auditees for beneficiaries of EU funds to register the proof of evidence, invoices, participations in trainings, lists, the moment they are created. Not related to an audit directly but just as a normal process of managing their funds,” the principal manager said.
The distributed ledger technology would mean information about when the evidence was created and uploaded would be stored in a register for instance in the beneficiary’s laptop. “When we get to the point of asking for this they should be able to provide the same evidence and we would be able to check when it’s been uploaded and when it was created,” he added.
The application development forms part of the European blockchain services infrastructure, a pan-European service responsible for creating infrastructure for use by public administration. Pilos said that it could also be used to avoid institutional publications being hacked or tampered with. On 8 November, it will be presented to other EU institutions in Luxembourg.
Pilos said Luxembourg was a natural “hub” for this kind of proof of concept, given that it hosts a large number of institutions like the European Court of Auditors, European Court of Justice and European Publications Office, as well as the fact that Luxembourg promotes itself as a hub for blockchain expertise.
The expert mentioned the project in a Q&A following a presentation from digital director at the UK national archives John Sheridan, who is working on a similar blockchain application for “gold-plating evidence” in terms of trust and authenticity.