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The Impact of Blockchain Technology in Armed Services

The Impact of Blockchain Technology in Armed Services

The US House Armed Services Committee’s latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) draft for fiscal year 2025 includes significant provisions for exploring blockchain technology’s role in national security and defense applications. A committee-approved draft was sent to the full House for consideration, and the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced it to the Senate floor on July 9.

It states,

“The committee acknowledges the potential uses of blockchain technology for broader national security purposes within the defense landscape.”

The first mention of blockchain technology in the NDAA occurred in the fiscal year 2018, denoting the initial recognition of this technology within national defense legislation. During that year, the US House of Representatives added two blockchain-related amendments to the annual defense spending bill. These amendments directed the Department of Defense (DoD) to explore blockchain technology’s potential offensive and defensive cyber capabilities and to report back within 180 days.

The DoD fulfilled this requirement, producing a report examining blockchain’s cybersecurity capabilities, assessing its use by the US Government and critical infrastructure networks, and evaluating their cyber-attack vulnerabilities. This indicated a growing governmental interest in applying blockchain technology for purposes such as cybersecurity and supply chain management.

Blockchain for defense

This month, the Senate Armed Services Committee has continued to explore blockchain technology’s potential for national security and defense applications. The committee’s FY 2025 NDAA report includes directives related to blockchain, recognizing its potential to enhance the cryptographic integrity of defense supply chains, improve data integrity, and reduce risks of data manipulation by adversaries.

The Secretary of Defense has been instructed to investigate blockchain use cases for national security goals, focusing on secure, transparent, accountable, and auditable data related to supply chains. A briefing on these applications is required by April 1, 2025.

This briefing is specifically to cover several key areas:

  • An assessment of the benefits and risks of implementing blockchain in supply chain management.
  • An analysis of the current state of blockchain adoption within the DoD and the defense industrial base.
  • A plan for pilot programs or research initiatives exploring blockchain’s use in national security applications such as supply…

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