A whitepaper, titled ‘Potential Uses of Blockchain By The US Department of Defence’ has been co-authored by DoD contractors including Accenture, Amazon, Deloitte, CGI Federal, and IBM.
The paper researches the idea that the US Department of Defence could use blockchain technology to protect data from cyberattacks.
Published by the Value Technology Foundation, the paper cites cybersecurity threats which could reduce US dominance in the global economic and military spheres.
The report examines the use of multi-factor authentication technology for better security in military systems. For example, in situations where cyberattacks are not prevented, the encrypted ledger created by blockchain would leave a trail for detection.
Jason Brett, a former US regulator and CEO and Founder of Value Technology Foundation commented: “Cyberwarfare has become perhaps the greatest threat to American national security.
“Now, more than ever, the United States must make a material investment into primary research and development for defensive technologies such as blockchain.”
Another area explored in the paper focused on procurement, which requires strict vetting to ensure the use of approved designs. Brett told Decrypt about the impact of having so many large companies involved in the publication of the report.
“It was truly incredible to see companies that are normally competitors all work seamlessly with the notion of how to better improve the Armed Forces and keeping them on the front lines of cutting-edge technological development,” said Brett.
The report was also backed by US congressman Darren Soto, a Democratic representative from Florida, who provided the foreword to the report.
“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,” he said.
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Blockchain is a type of database that takes several records and puts them in a block (rather like collating them on to a single sheet of paper). The blocks are then connected using an encrypted signature, allowing blockchains to be used like a ledger, which can be shared and checked by anyone with the appropriate permission.
It has applications in security, but also many other areas including supply chain distribution in the food industry, the medical industry and oil and gas.
In another white paper published by IBM, the company states that blockchain technology used in oil and gas could “enable faster, permissioned, immutable, transparent and auditable business-to-business transactions among participants in the network and their suppliers, distributors and partners”.
Continuing on the tech’s use in the military, Brett told Decrypt: “The fact is, while blockchain technology is still very new, the case that Value Technology Foundation wishes to make is that there are very large and small companies seriously evaluating how the technology can help the Armed Forces.”