US Military is Falling Behind Russia and China in Blockchain Arms Race
The U.S. Department of Defense can’t stand to lose the global military blockchain race to Russia and China, signals a new white paper by Amazon Web Services, Deloitte, IBM, and others.
Designed by the Value Technology Foundation think tank and co-authored by a smattering of private-sector tech companies, consultancies, and blockchain firms, the briefing gives a sobering analysis of that race as it stands.
“The two superpowers that pose the greatest threat to the U.S. are both heavily investing in both the research and development of blockchain technology,” the briefing stated: China’s on the “economic warfare” offensive with its digital currency. Russia is on defense with a lab committed to blockchain cyber threat mitigation.
The U.S. requires to bootstrap its blockchain and DLT warfighter aptness similarly, and it stands to profit as soon as it does, the briefing stated. In addition to AWS, IBM, and Deloitte, the paper was written by Accenture, CGI Federal, SIMBA Chain, ConsenSys, and Colvin Run Networks.
In cybersecurity, blockchain could broadly support the military in anything from “weapons release” to preventing data erasure, an unlikely proposition for append-only databases although it could also reinforce command and control mechanisms by multi-party authentication.
If various parties hold command authority, and they must strike consensus to act, then the system could be made safer with blockchain, the group wrote. This could have particular advantages for the U.S. military’s newest branch: the Space Force.
Blockchain could offer to the Space Force by appending multi-factor authentication to satellite communication systems, the group recorded. Such systems are usually insecure, and according to the report, they’ve been exploited or confirmed weak before with issues that DLT could fix.
“An attacker would need to gain control over an arbitrary number of user accounts and be able to use those accounts to perform actions on the blockchain in order to confirm an inappropriate command,” the report said.
They supported for DLT in the military supply chain with the same logistics playbook that civilian blockchain boosters hawk: identifying counterfeit goods verification, keeping the food supply safe during a recall, tracing provenance. All have defense department applications, according to the report.
However, the military supply chain has already begun executing DLT. The report documented a handful of blockchain tests in defense aerospace, aircraft parts additive manufacturing, and naval engineering contracts.
Defense bureaucrats stand to profit from a blockchain-based procurement process, the group stated. Smart contracts could register deals whose information is shared only amongst authorized parties, with everything apparent to the Defense Department in real-time.
This could append transparency and auditability to a gargantuan military-industrial procurement machine, which in 2018 agreed to lose hundreds of billions of dollars to contract fraud.
“Just as the DoD found a way to build new applications and make distributed systems possible on the Internet, blockchain enables new capabilities by offering a layer of trust that the DoD can apply to improve its procurement process,” the report said.