Trump’s Security Hawks Call Distributed Ledgers ‘Critical’ in US-China Tech Arms Race

15 October 2020

The Trump Administration has included “distributed ledger technologies” (DLT), the grandaddy tech behind cryptocurrency and blockchain, in its strategy for preserving America’s technological supremacy over China and Russia.

  • DLT is one of 20 focus areas on the National Security Council's "critical and emerging technologies" shortlist, released Thursday.
  • The NSC's strategy calls for investing in, developing, adopting and promoting the priority technologies.
  • Also on the shortlist: AI, data science, quantum computing and "space technologies," weapons of mass destruction mitigation technologies, and others.
  • Absent from the document: hard numbers and a concrete roadmap to implementation.
  • Pockets of the U.S. government are already investing in blockchain infrastructure, the Department of Homeland Security most publicly so.
  • The U.S. military is also examining DLT for combat operations, but efforts are still in their early stages.
  • Chinese officials have long been bullish on DLT. A state-sanctioned distributed network for hosting dapps and internet services debuted months ago.
  • It is not quite as clear where Russia stands on state-sponsored DLT use cases.

Read more: US Military Is Falling Behind China, Russia in Blockchain Arms Race: IBM, Accenture

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