Applications and Use Cases

Distributed Ledger Technology to Play Critical Role in U.S. Military Strategy


October 22, 2020

In a major announcement for the blockchain space, the Trump Administration's National Security Council has named distributed ledger technology (DLT) as critical for U.S. strategy in the technology wars against China and Russia. DLT was named as one of 20 focus areas of a critical and emerging technologies shortlist released by the Council.

Inclusion on the list means the Council is looking at investing in, developing, adopting and promoting DLT among other priority technologies. These include AI, data science, quantum computing and "space technologies," and weapons of mass destruction mitigation technologies.

According to recent research from the Value Technology Foundation, published in tandem with companies like AWS, IBM and Deloitte, the two superpowers that pose the greatest threat to the US have both invested heavily in research and development of blockchain technology.

"To continue its standing as a world leader in technological innovation, the United States needs to engage with policymakers, the private sector, and academia to promote the research and development of blockchain technology," wrote Congressman Darren Soto of Florida in a letter to the Foundation. "While China and Russia have invested millions of dollars worth of research and development (R&D) into the technology, the policymakers of our country

are still trying to understand what the technology is, and our regulators are still trying to enforce old laws on the new technology."

         

The U.S. government has already begun investing in blockchain, with the Department of Homeland Security awarding $817,712 to five blockchain startups earlier this month. The investment is designed to reimagine the government's anti-forgery and counterfeit prevention operations. The companies have up to six months to develop blockchain proofs of concept.

The U.S. military has also had blockchain on its radar for several years. In 2015, a Department of Defense report noted that all the weaknesses of the current logistics system for the US armed forces could be nullified by using blockchain technologies. And in 2016 the Department of Advanced Research Projects (DARPA) began studying blockchain as a means to protect its data an a variety of weapons, including codes for launching intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.

The 2018 Congressional National Security Doctrine Act mentions blockchain as a technology the military should pay attention to. The U.S. Naval Aviation Command also announced a partnership with Indiana company ITAMCO to improve the entire marine aviation industry by using blockchain. The technology would enable better tracking of spare parts for aircraft to lower operating costs.

The intergovernmental military alliance NATO also plans to use blockchain-based solutions for military logistics, procurement and finance.

To learn more about how DLT and blockchain are being used globally by the military, governments and the enterprise, TMC is hosting The Blockchain Event on June 22-25, 2021, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The event will feature panel discussions, keynotes and case studies about the role of blockchain in a variety of industries and vertical markets.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

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