US State Department Forms New Blockchain Working Group

The US State Department is looking to boost its research resources in support of a new working group focused on blockchain.

AccessTimeIconJun 9, 2017 at 3:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:25 p.m. UTC
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The US State Department is looking to boost its research resources in support of a new working group focused on blockchain.

According to a post on its website, the department, which serves as the US government's chief diplomacy arm, wants to bring in an intern to support research efforts for its "Blockchain@State" working group. The initiative is being overseen by the Office of Global Partnerships.

Reporting to Thomas Debass, the director for innovation and the acting special representative for global partnerships, the intern will track developments in blockchain and prepare bi-weekly briefings to keep the initiative informed of new applications in the field.

In the posting, the State Department outlined an ambitious approach to blockchain, arguing that it needs to move quickly to explore the ways in which the tech might impact how it functions.

The Department wrote:

"Blockchain is not just for bitcoin. And it's not just for the private sector. Nations and cities around the world are actively utilizing this technology to transform the work of government. This is happening now. And the Department of State cannot afford to wait to explore applications of this technology to the work of international development and diplomacy."

Department of State is not the only department in government looking into blockchain technology.

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services held a hackathon to focus on blockchain applications following a call for research papers. The Commerce Department hosted an event to discuss how the tech could be applied to digital copyright in December.


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