Major U.S. Blockchain Bill Headed to President Trump to Be Signed Into Law

The U.S. defense department sees the benefits of Blockchain in shoring up systems against cyberattacks, as the technology continues to be embraced by various branches of the government.

The story that blanketed the U.S. 2016 general elections remains how Russia interfered in it. Among problems found were hacks of the country’s party election systems.

Considering their vulnerabilities, among other cyber security issues, Congress has moved on legislation that includes the use of Blockchain by the country’s Department of Defense. The bill is headed to President Donald Trump’s desk, and he is expected to sign it into law.

As observers wait for the bill’s signature, they’ve already seen how many in the U.S. government are seeing the benefits of Blockchain in their operations. Many expect the new technology will not only just continue to be studied, but be embraced at all levels of government.

Let’s talk about how Blockchain is infiltrating branches of the U.S.’s government.

The bill

Called the National Defense Authorization Act, the bill spells out the appropriations provisions for fiscal 2018 for the defense department.

As it relates to Blockchain, the bill calls for the defense department to begin a comprehensive study about the technology. Here’s some language from the bill about what the study should include:

(1) a description of potential offensive and defensive cyber applications of Blockchain technology and other distributed database technologies;

(2) an assessment of efforts by foreign powers, extremist organizations, and criminal networks to utilize such technologies;

(3) an assessment of the use or planned use of such technologies by the Federal Government and critical infrastructure networks; and

(4) an assessment of the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure networks to cyber attacks.

Depending on when the bill is signed, the defense department will have 180 days to submit its report to Congress.

Senior department head weighs in

As the bill was being crafted, other members of the defense department were weighing in on the importance of Blockchain. This includes Navy Lt. Commander Jon McCarter. He penned a blog post about how the Blockchain could revolutionize what is called Naval Additive Manufacturing, finance, and logistics, writing “that’s only scratching the surface.”

He wrote about Blockchain:

When looking for a test bed for this technology, it quickly became clear that Naval Additive Manufacturing was a perfect match. The ability to secure and securely share data throughout the manufacturing process (from design, prototyping, testing, production, and ultimately disposal) is critical to Additive Manufacturing and will form the foundation for future advanced manufacturing initiatives.

Blockchain’s benefits being studied elsewhere in government

It’s not just the U.S. Department of Defense that is looking at Blockchain’s benefits. We’ve told you about how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sees the technology aiding it in fighting cyber security.

The SEC’s enforcement division continues to see its cyber unit as the best part of the commission to deal with fraud in ICOs and Blockchain technology. The regulatory agency released an investigative report a few months ago that included questions about how to handle regulating ICOs.

Stephanie Avakian, co-Director, of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement has said:

 “Blockchain technology presents many interesting issues and can of course present legitimate opportunities for raising capital,” she said.