Trump Signs Defense Bill Authorizing Blockchain Study

President Donald Trump has signed a $700 billion military spending bill that includes a mandate for a blockchain cybersecurity research study.

AccessTimeIconDec 12, 2017 at 6:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:15 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a $700 billion military spending bill that includes a mandate for a blockchain cybersecurity research study.

As CoinDesk reported in September, the bill – as advanced by the U.S. Senate at the time – called for the Department of Defense to investigate "potential offensive and defensive cyber applications of blockchain technology and other distributed database technologies."

The language itself is part of the wider Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT), which focuses on improving the government's IT and cybersecurity systems.

The blockchain study, according to the latest version of the text (which was ultimately signed earlier today by Trump), will constitute "an assessment of efforts by foreign powers, extremist organizations, and criminal networks to utilize such technologies;...[and] an assessment of the use or planned use of such technologies by the Federal Government and critical infrastructure networks."

The results of the study, according to the text, are due to be delivered to Congress sometime in the next 6 months. While it is set to be prepared by the Department of Defense – which has explored a number of applications in the past – the final product is likely to include input from other federal agencies and departments.

And though it constitutes a minor element in major funding law, the measure, proposed by Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, could help spur investigation into possible blockchain uses within the U.S. government, some observers say.

"Blockchain was clearly one of the technological capabilities that Congress meant for agencies to look at, and what they were trying to do was create dollars with some flexibility to them so that agencies would have their own discretion on what they invest in," Trey Hodgkins, senior vice president of public sector at the Information Technology Industry Council in Washington, D.C., told CoinDesk last month.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.