US government: Blockchain as trump card for the future

The U.S. government underscores its firm commitment to the government’s use of blockchain and cryptography technology to set the sails for the future, as high-ranking White House government officials confirmed at Data Transparency 2017 last Tuesday. The conference has set itself the goal of researching and communicating forms of open government and promoting them vis-à-vis the US government. The officials underlined the essential importance of technology for the future of US politics, public administration and the population.

Last Tuesday’s Open Data Summit was attended by none other than Margie Graves, senior official in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the American Cabinet Office for Administration and the Budget, and Trump consultant Chris Liddell, who came directly from the White House to the Renaissance Hotel in Washington Downtown.

The presence and presentations of the officials will be crucial. For the OMB, which is headed by Mick Mulvaney, co-founder of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, the blockchain working group in the US Congress, is directly jointly responsible for shaping presidential executive policy – Trump’s vision for the future of the USA.

Don’t let it depend on you

So it came as little surprise that Margie Graves represented the American government at the conference as a strong advocate of blockchain technology.

“With the Blockchain, the White House is exploring a wide range of forward-looking opportunities that the government can take advantage of,” Graves said. In her presentation, she emphasized the need to continue researching technologies in order not to be left behind by the state of the art.

She was open to including blockchain and cryptography solutions in the update of the Open Government National Plan, which is expected by the end of the year. In this context, she already emphasized concrete fields of application of the technology: “In the future, blockchain solutions could play decisive roles not only in the context of cyber security, but also in combating fraud or food waste. Together with Blockchain luminary Don Tapscott, Graves wants to identify further possibilities for public application next week.

Chris Liddell, government consultant and White House strategy director, on the other hand, was less specific in his presentation: he advocated standardized data solutions. This is the only way to ensure that technology solutions such as block chains or artificial intelligence can be successfully adapted in the future. Liddell appealed that the government should not obstruct tomorrow’s future with today’s reforms. Together with Trump’s chief economist Gary Cohn, the New Zealander belongs to the Office of American Innovation, the department in the White House dedicated to the public potential of forward-looking technologies.

With a determined stance

The fact that the US government is so well known reflects the great enthusiasm of the Trump administration for blockchain and distributed ledger solutions and speaks no less for the technology itself. Not only the intercession of the Chief Economist of Vice President Mike Pence, Mark Calabria, but also several official Blockchain pilot projects of the US government testify to this. Government institutions such as the American Disease Prevention Center and the General Service Administration are already experimenting with blockchain solutions.

In addition, these projects are supported by extroverted financing. Only this week, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) gave the Blockchain start-up Digital Bazaar a substantial financial injection of around three-quarters of a million dollars. Digital Bazaar and other smaller blockchain companies have already received grants from the US Business Innovation Program (SBIR) several times in the past. The funds will now be used to help companies develop suitable blockchains for various government applications.