IBM and Caucus issue call-to-arms on government blockchain adoption

September 25, 2018
Chris Wheal

IBM together with members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus discussed on Monday how to speed up enablement of the use of blockchain in governmental business.

The group discussed issues from a report, published on Monday, by IBM’s Center for the Business of Government in consultation with the Blockchain Caucus, entitled The Impact of Blockchain for Government: Insights on Identity, Payments and Supply Chains.

Roundtable discussions

It summarises a series of roundtable discussions between US representatives – and members of the Blockchain Caucus – Jared Polis (Democrat, Colorado 2nd district) and David Schweikert (Republican, Arizona 6th district), together with MIT’s Thomas Hardjono and IBM’s chief technology officer Jerry Cuomo.

The Congressional Blockchain Caucus is aiming to speed up the process of blockchain technology research by the US government so that implementation of useful applications can be enabled earlier.

New co-chairs for Caucus

The group announced this weekend the appointment of Congressmen Tom Emmer and Bill Foster as new co-chairs and Emmer was quick to announce his intention of speeding up the process of regulatory clarity on blockchain and cryptocurrencies – favouring a “light touch” approach to any new legal framework.

The new report outlined the need for government funding of blockchain innovation so it can be involved in the testing of new products before they are brought to the market.

Cuomo emphasised that experts and regulators could discuss the merits and pitfalls of the technology all day, but that it was time to act.

He stressed: “Blockchain is ready for government, let’s get government ready for blockchain.”

The areas of discussion were digital identity, payments and supply chain and provenance – all areas that have been developed for corporate solutions.

Targets

The group were looking to establish the following targets:

  • Enable better understanding of the technology within the government
  • Identify areas of common interest with industry
  • Accelerate adoption and deployments
  • Identify existing gaps that impede implementations
  • Share common experiences learned across industry and government agencies
Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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