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US Senate Asks Secretary of Defense to Use Blockchain

By Anthony Burr | TH3FUS3 Managing Editor

July 10, 2024 07:15 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes, 24 seconds

TL;DR The Senate Committee on Armed Services has tasked Secretary of Defense Retired General Lloyd Austin to explore blockchain technology for enhancing supply chain management and national security functions within the US Department of Defense (DOD).

US Senate Recognition of Blockchain Potential

On July 9, the US Senate Committee on Armed Services tasked Secretary of Defense Retired General Lloyd Austin with exploring the potential applications of blockchain technology to enhance supply chain management and other national security functions within the US Department of Defense (DOD).

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) committee's report for the fiscal year 2025 outlined specific authorizations for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Defense-wide programs.

According to the committee, blockchain technology could significantly improve the cryptographic integrity of defense supply chains, enhance data accuracy, and mitigate the risk of data manipulation or corruption by near-peer competitors.

The Senate committee has directed the DOD to explore blockchain's various use cases to meet national security objectives and establish secure, transparent, and auditable supply chain data.

The committee's report outlines that the test should encompass pilot programs and research efforts, exploring national security applications such as supply chain management, cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, and procurement auditability.

The research should assess the benefits and risks of blockchain in supply chain tracking and management, examine the current state of blockchain adoption in both the US and countries like China and Russia, and provide feasibility and cost estimates for implementation.

Increasing National Support for Cryptocurrencies

The committee has directed Secretary of Defense Retired General Lloyd Austin to submit a briefing on the areas of testing by April 1, 2025. This directive comes amid increasing advocacy for crypto adoption by US politicians, especially Republicans.

On July 8, the Republican National Committee drafted a policy platform to support cryptocurrency. The platform emphasizes defending the right to mine Bitcoin, ensuring Americans' right to self-custody digital assets, and allowing transactions free from government surveillance and control.

Aside from its role in the finance sector, as seen with China's launch of blockchain infrastructure to facilitate secure cross-border transactions, the technology has further evolved into various applications like decentralized databases to enhance transparency and security. Countries worldwide are now identifying blockchain as a crucial tool for preventing counterfeiting while securing sensitive data.

Global Blockchain Adoption

Germany's approach to blockchain exemplifies this, with the country focusing on applications within healthcare. The German Federal Ministry of Health has explored blockchain's potential through workshops and pilot projects, such as secure electronic prescriptions and decentralized patient consent services.

Recall that CryptoNews reported in June that the South Korean government plans to launch a $14.5 million blockchain support program as part of its efforts to support blockchain technology.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is another country forging ahead with its recent plans to develop an indigenous blockchain technology, "Nigerium," under the supervision of its National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

The NITDA's initiative follows the approval of Nigeria's national blockchain policy in 2023, which provides a legal framework for blockchain adoption. This initiative aligns with Nigeria's broader efforts to leverage blockchain technology for national security and economic empowerment, building on previous initiatives like the eNaira digital currency.

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