US Logistics Agency Launches Blockchain Sector Mapping Tool

The U.S. government's Emerging Citizen Technology program announced a new open-source Atlas to provide resources on blockchain technology.

Oct 27, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:05 a.m. UTC

The U.S. government agency in charge of logistics is taking the next step in its effort to better understand blockchain.

Through its Emerging Citizen Technology (ECT) program, a blockchain analysis effort first announced in September, the General Services Administration (GSA) this week opened to contributions from industry members, according to a post on its website.

These contributions will now be compiled into an open-source tool called Atlas, which will include "programs, use cases and resources" created by the private sector and researchers working within government agencies.

The ECT is meant to serve as a resource that clarifies the potential uses of blockchain technology, both for the U.S. government and for the general public, the ultimate goal being "to test, evaluate, and build these next-generation services."

Justin Herman, the program’s head, told CoinDesk the effort was formed because new technologies, including blockchain and artificial intelligence, change more quickly than organizations can keep up with.

In an email, he said:

"Having a resource in the form of this Atlas is critical for federal agencies and the American people to identify opportunities to work together and avoid costly and time consuming pitfalls."

Herman previously told CoinDesk that he wanted the ECT program to close the divide between the government's interest in blockchain technology and its applications and knowledge that companies working with the tech already have.

As such, the program will update its Atlas every week, adding use cases, research updates and information on current projects being studied. The Atlas will also include resources "that anyone can use for evaluation, testing, and potential adoption," according to the website.

Herman concluded: "This is only the beginning of the process to map out all of the critical work in testing, piloting and advancing our emerging technologies."

Maps image via Shutterstock

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