Can blockchain help fight wasteful government spending?
Enterprise blockchain solutions company Orbs issued a report earlier this week suggesting a potential blockchain-driven approach to combating fraud in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Orbs believes its blockchain could also help minimize potential bureaucratic waste in the country’s wider range of welfare programs.
SNAP is the current name for the former U.S. food stamps program, providing low-income families with assistance to purchase groceries. Nearly 20 million households received SNAP benefits in the 2018 fiscal year, totaling almost $65 billion in taxpayer-funded assistance.
The Orbs report cites a SNAP State Activity Report, noting that $592.7 million was listed as “Fraud Dollars” for the 2016 fiscal year, or 0.8% of the total amount of benefits provided for that year. SNAP fraud is often a talking point for politicians and pundits criticizing government spending and assistance, and in July, the Trump Administration proposed an overhaul to the program that would revise eligibility rules and potentially remove millions of people.