This Tuesday, a widely publicized, nearly $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act was signed by the ever controversial US President Donald Trump. According to White House officials, it focuses on strengthening the US military and defense system, including the utilization of additional avenues to assess and report potential risks.
The bill also held a very important mention of blockchain technology, directing officials to assess and analyze its usage across various institutions and sectors.
Researching new technologies with allocated resources
The directive of studying blockchain was a part of the Modernizing Government Technology Act. The legislation – which largely focuses on enhancing the government’s knowledge of new technologies in order to effectively deal with potential risks – was attached as an amendment to the defense authorization bill.
The move saw the completion of more than a year’s worth of efforts dedicated to bringing the study of new technologies to the forefront. The legislation allows the government to allocate unused IT budget funds to pay for future modernization projects.
It would also, to an extent, allow relevant industry officials to collaborate with the government in order to explain the new technologies and the way they could be analyzed and assessed further.
Blockchain is one of the technologies to be studied
The legislative text directed officials to brief the government on Cyber Applications of Blockchain Technology within the timeframe of 6 months.
The directives provided in the legislation inquired about the description of potential offensive and defensive cyber applications of blockchain technology and other distributed database technologies. It went on to inquire about an assessment of the efforts of foreign powers and harmful groups for utilizing such technologies.
Furthermore, an analysis of the use or planned use of blockchain technologies by the Federal Government and critical infrastructure networks was also requested, along with an assessment of the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure networks to cyber-attacks.
As reported above, the findings are supposed to be shared within 6 months. The legislation read:
“The Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the heads of such other departments and agencies of the Federal Government as the Secretary considers appropriate, shall provide to the appropriate committees of Congress a briefing on the cyber applications of blockchain technology.”
What it could mean for blockchain technology
While the measures stated in the legislation are largely focused on the familiarization of blockchain and the potential risks involved with it, it could open doors to further utilization of the technology in a government capacity. Only by knowledge of the obscure entity could any institution make an informed decision to pursue it, and if this move is followed correctly, it could open doors for further use of blockchain technology, while potentially also making it more secure.