Federal Agencies Embrace Blockchain Technology

Federal agencies have adopted blockchain, a form of DLT, for its transparency, efficiency, security, and flexibility.

By · Aug 31, 2020 . 7min read

US Fed to use Blockchain Technology

Federal agencies have adopted blockchain for its transparency, efficiency, security, and flexibility. Blockchain, a form of distributed ledger technology, has captured federal agencies’ attention as it establishes trust among disparate entities that need to share information. According to FedTech magazine, various federal agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, and the Department of Treasury commenced using blockchain.

Blockchain and its Benefits to Federal Agencies

In 2009, researchers combatting the H1N1 swine flu were provided updates through a chain of data conveyed from individual secure desktops. This procedure entailed each scientist to read thousands of physical pages of information. Sometimes the data would be homogeneous. When the virus began to spread in 2017, officials in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration needed an efficient way to assist them in tracking data. Thus, officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration adopted blockchain technology.

Henry Francis has already successfully developed a blockchain-based application that automatically enables them to obtain encrypted data in real-time, from many sources. He is an associate director for data mining and informatics evaluation and research at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Francis elucidated that the real-time Application for Portable Interactive Devices (RAPID) program is one of the first full-blown implementations of blockchain in the federal government. However, the interest in the technology is growing. Pilots are springing up in various agencies resembling for secure, transparent ways to move data from distributed sources quickly.

Offering Assistance in Management.

 The Department of Treasury’s Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation, or FIT, also shifted to the blockchain. Its initial application was for tracing mobile devices. Later it applied for software licenses management. FIT also trialled whether blockchain could enhance grant payment processes in collaboration with the National Science Foundation.  

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched HHS Accelerate, an infrastructure utilizing distributed ledger technology. This increases its bulk purchasing power, decreases its reporting burden. It also diminishes costs for industry associates, and enhances record-keeping for vendor transactions.

Moreover, the FDA is reviewing how it can utilize the blockchain to track and manage food safety perils across the nation’s vast and decentralized food system. It contemplates how to enhance transparency in the pharmaceutical supply chain. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has previously certified BeefChain, a blockchain company that tracks the beef supply chain.

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