Foreign Policy Digital

America Needs a Blockchain Strategy ASAP

The technology behind cryptocurrency can keep the United States safe—but only if the country takes advantage of its head start.

The news is rife with wild promises made by blockchain advocates and the exaggerated suspicions of its opponents. By enabling the creation of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ether, and XRP, blockchains have made some people fabulously wealthy while also, at times, facilitating fraud and money laundering. Although the technology is still in its early stages, we can attest—not least, because one of us serves on the board of a financial technology company that developed one of these cryptocurrencies—that it has enormous potential.

But so far, little has been written about the blockchain’s potential uses in the national security space, where blockchain technology could be enormously useful. If mishandled, however, it could also pose dangers. To maximize the former and mitigate the latter, it would be wise for the United States to take advantage of its early technological lead before competitors inevitably catch up. Fortunately, there are myriad ways it

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