The cryptocurrency market, blockchain technology, and decentralized finance are quickly gaining popularity in the United States. In fact, Government agencies in the United States are now using blockchain technology to ensure the smooth and effective running of their activities.
Blockchain, also known as distributed ledger technology (DLT), uses a decentralized network and cryptographic hashing to make the history of any digital asset transparent and unchangeable. Blockchain offers potential non-financial uses even if cryptocurrency is its most well-known application. To manage supply chains, build less hierarchical companies, and record real estate title transfers, as just a few examples.
Several technologies are used in blockchain to provide a tamper-resistant record of transactions between participants decentralized from a central authority like a bank. A blockchain-based digital government may increase confidence and accountability while safeguarding data, streamlining procedures, and reducing fraud, waste, and abuse. Below are some ways the U.S. and its agencies are implementing blockchain technology in their operations:
Blockchain Technology In The United States Military
The United States Air Force (USAF) is committed to using blockchain technology to solve pertinent security issues. With blockchain technology, the USAF hopes to strengthen the security of its data, disseminate top-secret 3D printing blueprints, plug security gaps, and test the use of AM to coordinate distributed manufacturing on the battlefield.
Last week, the Air Force invested in SIMBA for a $30 million strategic technology effort, significantly increasing its funding for blockchain-related projects. According to the official announcement, the funding will be used to create blockchain-based supply chain management applications and programs that several government agencies, including the Defense Logistics Agency, the USAF, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army, and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research & Engineering will use. Additionally, SIMBA has collaborated with various Department of Defense (DoD) branches, including a $9.5 million U.S. Navy contract for secure communications in 2020.
The U.S. Air Force had previously hired SIMBA Chain to create an accounting and budgeting system for tracking and monitoring the military’s cash flow and the quality and management of its supply chains. The project, known as Digital Blockchain Budgeting Accountability and Tracking (DiBaT), had the objective of tokenizing every dollar in the U.S. Air Force supply chain budget and monitoring the flow of money around billing offices, purchasing teams, and suppliers.
Blockchain and The Chains of Medical Supply
Blockchain has a significant impact on data sharing across many sources. Blockchain technology is used by pharmaceutical companies in the medical supply chain to track, and trace medications transferred from labs to patients and thwart counterfeiting. The lab business records the medicine’s origin’s location in a drug ledger. The ledger acquires and stores information for each “stop” along the drug’s journey through the supply chain, including its location, the people it interacts with, and the patient who will get the medication. Blockchain enables effective streamlining and retrieval while keeping an eye out for illegal or fake activity.
Federal organizations like the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) continue to investigate the potential applications of cutting-edge technology, such as blockchain, in how they carry out development projects and collaborate with the private sector and other donors to offer communities access to life-saving medical services and goods. Blockchain technology could enhance the global health supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic, where vaccinations must be safely made, shipped, and received worldwide.
This hypothetical military supply chain is hosted on a blockchain, making it impossible for a single computer to enter. An adversarial hacker must assault and take down the entire network instead. It will require endless money and time to complete this enormous endeavor.
In 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services launched HHS Accelerate, a distributed ledger technology-based infrastructure intended to boost the agency’s ability to make large purchases, lessen its reporting requirements, lower costs for business partners, and enhance vendor transaction documentation.
Smart Grids for Energy
Blockchain technology benefits international gas commerce and the development of decentralized energy networks. For instance, scientists at MIT are developing ways to arrange finance for solar microgrids using a “smart contract” that senses solar resources and streamlines payments. The method cuts expenses for renewable energy infrastructure and reduces risks for lenders. Trade and payments may be made swiftly and securely anywhere in the world thanks to streamlined and automatic processing.
To advance smart grid technologies, expand the role of the private sector, and promote “smart contracts,” USAID continues to study, comprehend, and form collaborations with organizations.
Blockchain and State Governments In The U.S.
Unsurprisingly, state governments in the U.S. have expressed interest in using blockchain technology to boost regional economies and enhance several facets of public service.
In 2016, the state of Delaware introduced the Delaware Blockchain Initiative. This comprehensive initiative promotes the adoption and advancement of blockchain and smart contract technology across the state’s public and private sectors.
The state of Illinois announced the Illinois Blockchain Initiative in 2017. This initiative encourages state and county organizations to “collaborate to explore ideas afforded by Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.”
Other examples of state-level blockchain initiatives include West Virginia, Utah, and Oregon trials that used blockchain-based mobile voting software for a subset of voters during the 2016 general election and the 2014 midterm elections. To oversee the state’s attempts to protect state data and other possible use cases, Colorado recruited its first Blockchain and Distributed Ledger (BDL) Solution Architect.
In California, Governor Newsom signed an executive order sometime last year as a follow-up to the 2020 California Blockchain Working Group Report, making California one of the first states to establish “a comprehensive and harmonized framework” for evaluating how state and public institutions can use blockchain technology.
Cities have joined the fray as well. Blockchain’s potential to improve the documentation of property records changing ownership was tested in South Burlington, Vermont. Blockchain integration into Berkeley, California’s municipal bond scheme is being tested through a pilot program. A blockchain-based digital identification network was also the subject of a pilot in Austin, Texas, which examined its potential.
Blockchain is no longer speculative – the technology has arrived, and the successes being recorded by its adopters are too good to ignore. It is, therefore, a known fact that many government agencies in the U.S. and all over the world are researching how to integrate blockchain into their affairs. These are positive signs that the adoption rate of blockchain technology will skyrocket in the coming years.
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