Senate Defense Bill Calls for Blockchain Research
By Josiah Wilmoth
The $700 billion defense bill passed by the U.S. Senate includes an amendment that calls for the Department of Defense to conduct a study on the potential cybersecurity and critical infrastructure applications of blockchain technology.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Reuters reports passed 89–8 in the Republican-controlled Senate on Monday, allocates more than $640 billion of the defense budget to the Pentagon for fiscal year 2018. Included in the bill was an amendment requiring the department to research blockchain technology.
The blockchain, which is essentially a distributed database, is one of the innovative technologies that undergirds cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum; however, many people believe it has a myriad of other applications, ranging from supply chain management to digital identity verification.
The Senate, however, wants to explore the potential offensive and defensive applications of blockchain technology, as well as the extent that terrorist and criminal organizations have begun to utilize blockchain-based protocols.