US Senate Gives Blockchain Green Light for National Defense Use

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  • The Senate Committee on Armed Services has instructed the Secretary of Defense to explore blockchain applications for the Department of Defense
  • This directive has been issued as part of the fiscal year 2025 NDAA report
  • Blockchain technology’s potential for enhanced data integrity and immutability has been highlighted for US military applications

The United States Senate Committee on Armed Services has instructed the Secretary of Defense, Retired General Lloyd Austin, to explore the potential applications of blockchain technology for supply chain management and other national security purposes within the Department of Defense (DOD). The directive was issued as part of the fiscal year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) report released on July 9 and highlights the benefits that blockchain technology could bring to the various wings of the US military thanks to its increased data integrity and immutability.

Data Integrity in the Spotlight

The report relates to the Deploying American Blockchains Act of 2023 and highlights specific authorizations for various defense programs, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Defense-wide initiatives, pointing out the various ways in which it could enhance the sectors: 

Blockchain technology has the potential to enhance the cryptographic integrity of the defense supply chain, improve data integrity, and reduce the risk of the manipulation or corruption of certain types of data by near-peer competitors.

The committee recommends the exploration of blockchain use cases to achieve national security goals and create secure, transparent, accountable, and auditable data related to supply chains, although which blockchains will be tested are still undecided.

To advance this initiative, General Austin has been directed to provide a comprehensive briefing by April 1, 2025. This briefing must cover six key findings, including a plan for pilot programs or research and development efforts to explore blockchain technology in national security applications, such as supply chain management, cybersecurity for critical infrastructure assets, and procurement auditability.

Additionally, the briefing should identify the benefits and risks of blockchain in supply chain tracking and management, analyze the current state of blockchain adoption in the supply chain industry and foreign countries like China and Russia, and provide feasibility and cost estimates.

US in Good Company

Blockchain technology is being increasingly explored for military applications across the globe due to its potential to enhance security, transparency, and efficiency. The UK Ministry of Defence is considering blockchain to improve the transparency and security of its supply chain processes, while NATO and Estonia are examining its potential to bolster cybersecurity, leveraging its decentralized nature to defend against cyber attacks. 

Israel, Canada, South Korea and Australia are also experimenting with blockchain to safeguard military communications, data integrity, and more.