reports, defense agencies are gaining interest in the technology’s distributed consensus and anonymity capabilities. The NATO is looking into blockchain’s use cases along with cutting-edge concepts like the IoT in regards to military logistics and procurement. So far, United States, Russia, and China have forayed into uses of the blockchain for purposes related to the military, general national defense, and for cyber-related endeavors.
Blockchain and Military
In 2018, National Defense Authorization Act, Section 1646 called for the assessment of blockchain for military employment purposes. Recently, The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command stated that they are looking into blockchain to help keep tabs on aviation parts, which could help lower the costs of operating and maintaining military aircraft.
Speculations suggest that blockchain technology would be used by the Department of Defense (DoD) to manage nearly $100 billion dollars’ worth of inventory. The blockchain has partially helped solve in other (non-military) areas, like the palm oil industry and a Government Accountability Office report from 2015 specifically highlighted issues with the DoD’s systems for tracking and delivering supplies.
Russian military officials have also been exploring use cases for blockchain. In June as Russian news source reported that creation of a military research lab dedicated to exploring blockchain use to detect and possibly counter cyber attacks. Two months ago, TASS, Russian news outlet reported on how blockchain might find its way into the Russian Defense Ministry if they manage to:
Quickly introduce Russian cryptographic algorithms into the international standard of blockchain.
Known for their ‘Blockchain not Bitcoin’ mantra China maintains a cryptocurrency crackdown on while exploring the underlying technology in full force.
On the Chinese military front, a number of authoritative material linking blockchain-related research is less but some articles point out why officials should pay attention to the technology. An article published in 2016, suggested that Chinese defense and security officials could be using blockchain for a variety of tasks, including for the storage of weapons lifecycle information and for general logistical improvements.
Writing in RealClear Defense, Wilson VornDick ruminated on the possibility of how blockchain could also be used in China to
Secure sources of public opinion, ostensibly to the detriment of any adversarial counter-information operations.
He specifically noted how “public opinion warfare” is in line with the nation’s Three Warfare strategy. (The other two are legal warfare and psychological warfare). A 2017 article found in PLA Daily also suggested the idea of blockchain being used in areas related to public opinion warfare.