The US State Department is Embracing Blockchain to “Advance Diplomacy”

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In Brief

The U.S. State Department wants to use blockchain technology for various aspects of its operations. At the Blockchain@State Forum, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan suggested it be used to “advance diplomacy and development objectives.”

Welcoming Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology can be a powerful tool if you know how to use it effectively. The technology behind Bitcoin is being eyed by countries like China to collect taxes and is expected to radically change how U.S. institutions operate. Even states like Illinois are open to using it to replace birth certificates, while organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have expressed a desire to use it against future epidemics.

Now, CoinDesk reports that the U.S. State Department is also looking into utilizing Blockchain technologies to “advance diplomacy and development objectives.”

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan put forward the idea while speaking at the Blockchain@State forum held in Washington DC earlier this week, claiming that Blockchain technology could play a key role in the restructuring plan initially proposed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“This forum has implications for our ongoing redesign efforts,” said Sullivan. “We’re interested to learn whether blockchain technology can have direct applications to many of the key features of our proposed redesign.”

Using Blockchain for Aid, Democracy, and Corruption

CoinDesk writes that several ideas were discussed regarding how a blockchain could be implemented to improve various aspects of the State Department, including how it provides foreign aid, promotes democracy, and improves governance and political institutions in U.S.-allied countries.

Beyond that, Sullivan suggested the technology could also help deal with matters of fraud and corruption in a government’s control over land title registries.

The U.S. government has been a bit slower than other countries when it comes to addressing the tech, and potentially adopting it. But despite this, many blockchain companies participated in the forum, with several reportedly supporting Sullivan’s ideas for incorporating blockchain technology.

“We’re particularly excited that the U.S. is waking up, big time, and realizing that this is a transformative technology,” said Joseph Lubin, founder of the blockchain development firm ConsenSys, which co-sponsored the event. “There are other smaller players who are embracing this technology strongly, but we do want to see America get out in front of this and transform society with it.”

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

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