John Kerry Hints Bitcoin Training is Underway at US Embassies

Officials at US foreign embassies may be training up on bitcoin.

AccessTimeIconOct 12, 2016 at 3:17 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:33 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin may soon be required learning at US embassies.

The topic of how the nation's diplomatic institutions are preparing for digital changes came up during a recent appearance in Silicon Valley by US Secretary of State John Kerry, a former senator and US presidential candidate.

Speaking at the Virtuous Circle Conference on 10th October, Kerry was asked about the presence of a "digital officer" at embassy sites in foreign nations. Specifically, the moderator inquired whether an embassy officer "needs to be able to speak with fluency about bitcoin and dark web".

Kerry replied positively, prompting the moderator to ask if the State Department was moving to update its training regime with those technologies in mind.

According to an official transcript, Kerry responded:

"Yes. That's the curriculum we've put together. I mean, I haven't asked – there's a lot of uncertainty with bitcoin or whatever."

While the comments don't exactly provide stark clarity, it's no secret that agencies within the US government are considering blockchain initiatives.

For example, a project called the Blockchain Alliance is promoting education among government officials, and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now providing grants to blockchain projects.

What the State Department's training looks like, however, remains to be seen. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Image Credit: Joseph Sohm /


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