Applications and Use Cases

Blockchain Could Offer Safe and Trustworthy Path to Nuclear Disarmament

November 06, 2020

Blockchain is increasingly being used by governments and military organizations for a host of applications. A new policy report, "The Trust Machine: Blockchain in Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control Verification," suggests that the technology may be used to dismantle nuclear weapons safely and reliably.

The report, released by the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King's College London, claims blockchain can build trust and create a more secure process for nations working to dismantle their nuclear warheads. It suggests the technology would help parties participating in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in their efforts to dismantle nuclear weapons.

According to the report, blockchain can create an "immutable, encrypted record of chain-of-custody for treaty-accountable items." This enables third parties to verify nuclear disarmament without needing to actually look at the data. Blockchain can also create a cryptographic escrow for national declarations, enabling sensitive data to be released on a phased timetable.

Blockchain could also offer a secure data platform for location sensors and environmental monitors, according to the research team. The platform would enable real-time monitoring at remote sites as well as automatically alert participants about potential treaty violations.

Governments "often lack sufficient trust in each other to cooperate on such measures," said Dr. Lyndon Burford, lead research associate on the project. He said many nations are unwilling to expose sensitive data about nuclear weapons, but that blockchain offers a powerful tool to facilitate trust. The platform would ultimately provide an encrypted, tamperproof way to manage data related to nuclear warhead dismantling.

Blockchain is increasingly being used by governments for everything from remote voting to the development of military data security systems. The U.S. National Security Council also recently named distributed ledger technology, which is at the heart of blockchain, as one of 20 critical and emerging technologies for use in U.S. military and technology strategies.

To learn more information about how blockchain is being used by governments and military organizations throughout the world, 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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