Gert-Jan Ridder

Gert-Jan Ridder works as a Data & Analytics Manager at the Dutch Central Judicial Collection Agency (CJIB). He will tell us a bit about his views on blockchain and how the CJIB is involved in blockchain developments.

1. How is CJIB involved in blockchain; can you tell us a bit about your (latest) developments?

For the next phase of our Financial Emergency Brake project we have started a pilot with a limited number of municipalities, to learn whether - and how – blockchain innovation works in the real world, moving from a controlled design and testing environment into complex real-life settings. With the support of the cooperating municipalities, our pilot aims to give citizens control over the information they share regarding their debt position and contributes to solving the important societal problem of increasing debt. We plan to finish the pilots with the municipalities in September 2021 and aim to go ‘live’ after that, depending on the results. 



2. Which blockchain topics do you find the most interesting or promising?

The Self Sovereign Identity topic without a doubt. It’s all about a quest for trust on the internet. SSI focuses on how we are able to control our own data and the ‘data trails’ we produce. How can we, as citizens, share our data in a secure, privacy-proof way? The present quest leads us to all kinds of initiatives and tests. From W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standardization to pilots in the field, and from blockchain-based solutions to non-blockchain based solutions: there are so many interdisciplinary fields involved.


3. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far by working together with international partners in this European project?

Two lessons actually: 1) It’s not about technique; technique is however an important enabler. It enables us to think differently about how we organize things around existing rules in our societies. Working with the other partners, asking questions, hearing stories from each other: this teaches us a lot about how you can look at a problem or find a solution from a different perspective. 2) Enthusiasm brings us together. We are on a long journey together, all in our own busy and buzzy local environments, hit by Covid, and still all of us are willing to share knowledge, ask questions and are eager to learn from each other. I think our common-felt enthusiasm about blockchain and its potential is an important driving force.