LibraryChain? US Government Grants $100k for New Blockchain Research

A U.S. federal agency has awarded a $100,000 grant to a research group in Arizona looking to apply blockchain to public library systems.

Sep 1, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:53 a.m. UTC

The U.S. government has awarded a $100,000 grant to a group of researchers looking to apply blockchain to public library systems.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services was founded in the mid-'90s, with the aim of providing federal support to libraries and museums. Public records show that officials with the agency are funding a new effort at the San Jose State University Research Foundation, which seeks to conduct preliminary research into how blockchain tech could help libraries manage digital rights, as well better assist their communities.

The work being conducted isn't exactly technical, however – rather, the funding will go to the planning of a forum event – buoyed by survey data and additional efforts – that would culminate with a topic on the applicability of blockchain to the library system.

As the grant document states:

"The proposed National Forum would bring together 20-30 technical experts in libraries, blockchain technology, and urban planning to discuss ways that blockchain technology can advance library services to support city or community goals. The resulting commentary from a project blog, national forum, and conference and the survey data will be evaluated and included in the project's final report, which will be available online."

Still, it's the latest instance in which an element of the U.S. government has moved to fund research into the tech and its possible applications.

Whether recent legislative developments in Arizona come into play also remains to be seen. As previously reported by CoinDesk, lawmakers passed a bill this year recognizing blockchain signatures and smart contracts under state law.

Library shelves image via Shutterstock

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