Blockchain could be about to revolutionise the US public sector

We hear a great deal about how blockchain are set to forever change this or that industry — but what about the public sector?

Well, the US is making babysteps towards just that.

The National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) that is currently making its way through Congress includes the Modernising Government Technology Act (MGT), which allows government agencies to redirect cost savings into internal funds that can be used to update their often aging IT systems.

Alongside pretty mundane channels of this including cybersecurity and cloud computing, the act mentions “other innovative platforms and technologies.” Unless Washington’s computers are suddenly going to run on celery, this is Congress-speak for blockchains.

Trey Hodgkins, senior vice president of public sector at the Information Technology Industry Council in Washington, D.C., told CoinDesk:

“Blockchain was clearly one of the technological capabilities that Congress meant for agencies to look at, and what they were trying to do was create dollars with some flexibility to them so that agencies would have their own discretion on what they invest in.”

The NDAA has been passed by both Houses, and is awaiting the signature of noted tech enthusiast Donald Trump.

What does all this mean?

Essentially, it is incentivising federal agencies in the US to move away from inefficient but cheap legacy tech and into things like smart contracts and other blockchain-derived technologies.

As in any area where there are lashings of public money to be won, there are a host of companies waiting to bid for it — this in effect acts as a big stimulus to companies offering solutions on blockchains that go beyond cryptos.

However, with great cheques come great diligence processes — solutions will likely be selected only after they have proven their worth at the enterprise level.

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