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Amazon, IBM-backed whitepaper explores blockchain apps for U.S. Department of Defense

cyber warfare security

Yesterday, the U.S.-based non-profit Value Technology Foundation published a report studying the use of blockchain for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). 

The report titled ‘Potential Uses of Blockchain By The U.S. Department of Defense’ has been co-authored by DOD contractors including Accenture, Amazon, Deloitte, CGI Federal, and IBM, with blockchain firms ConsenSys, SIMBA Chain, and Colvin Run Networks. Congressman Darren Soto endorses the whitepaper. 

Value Technology published the report citing cybersecurity threats, which could reduce U.S. dominance in the global economic and military spheres. 

“Cyber warfare 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,” said Jason Brett, former U.S. regulator and CEO and Founder of Value Technology Foundation. He previously worked at the Chamber of Digital Commerce and ConsenSys.

The report talks about leveraging blockchain as part of multi-factor authentication for better security of military systems. Where cyberattacks are not prevented, using blockchain for logging at least leaves a trail for detection.

One of the co-authors SIMBA Chain as well as startup Fluree were awarded blockchain contracts for securing defense communications with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force respectively.

Another area of focus is parts procurement, which requires strict vetting to make sure that approved designs have been used. In 2018, Bloomberg published a disputed report that China hid spy chips to hack into some of the biggest U.S. enterprises. 

Last year, the DOD awarded contracts to MacAulay Brown and iCAMR to avoid chip tampering and protect mission-critical systems. 

Value Technology says the U.S. Navy could use blockchain for 3-D printing parts on the Aircraft Carrier itself. Previously, SIMBA Chain worked with the U.S. Air Force to ensure that 3-D printing designs are not tampered with. The firm is also developing a blockchain-based aviation parts tracking system for the U.S. Navy. 

While this is one application for the defense supply chains, other supplies, such as food or spare parts, are sourced from third parties. There is a risk of counterfeit materials entering the supply chain and contamination of food, which could affect defense operations. Value Technology says blockchain could increase supply chain security by verifying the provenance of goods and protecting the food supply. 

The organization positions itself as a think tank focused on distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the U.S. and other open, free societies.

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