Department of Defense Plans for Blockchain-Based Security Apparatus

By Landon Manning

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has formally made plans to incorporate blockchain technology into a future state-run data security development.

On July 12, 2019, the DoD unveiled its four-year roadmap for a “digital modernization strategy” to invest in the development of the U.S. government’s technological capabilities in cyberspace. Page 48 of this report goes into specifics on the role that blockchain technology is to play in these advancements.

The infamous Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), chief architect of many of the United States most advanced pieces of military technology, is, under this protocol, “starting to experiment with blockchain to create a more efficient, robust, and secure platform … that will allow personnel from anywhere to transmit secure messages or process transactions that can be traced through numerous channels of a decentralized ledger,” according to the report. 

The report also notes that DARPA has also been investigating blockchain technology for its possible use in developing “an unhackable code.”

The DoD, and DARPA in particular, have shown an interest in blockchains for some time now. In November 2018, DARPA announced that it would be hosting a workshop to research several aspects of blockchain technology that seemed particularly valuable to the agency’s projects. These included the ability to use distributed ledger technology as a software infrastructure, as well as its abilities to both secure and analyze large amounts of sensitive data. 

Then, in December 2018, the DoD posited ways in which blockchain technology could help with government responses to major natural disasters. This positive attitude toward the technology seems to only be growing, with the DoD’s new report claiming that blockchains “invert the security paradigm.” Not only will it be more difficult for hackers to breach blockchain-based security protocols, it claims, but it will be more expensive to even make the attempt, shutting out smaller players. 

Although the new report only briefly touches upon blockchains among a host of interesting new technologies, the department’s view on them seems to be generally positive. This interest may lead to a major new opportunity for research and development in the blockchain ecosystem.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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