CIA's New Research Lab to Study Blockchain

CIA Labs will give officers an outlet to patent and profit from their tech inventions.

Sep 21, 2020 at 5:52 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:58 a.m. UTC

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) launched a new research and develop laboratory on Monday that features blockchain technology among its focus areas.

  • CIA Labs' webpage said the labs will research "distributed ledger/blockchain-enabled technologies" alongside other tech stacks: wireless telecommunications, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and data analytics, to name a few.
  • Officers who develop tech inventions in the lab will be permitted to patent, disclose and partially profit from their work, according to MIT Technology Review.
  • MIT's reporting notes the labs will give CIA a useful incentive to woo tech talent that might otherwise turn to Silicon Valley's giants.
  • That the CIA, one of the U.S. intelligence community's two code-breaking hubs, would take an interest in researching a technology secured by cryptography should come as no surprise to observers.
  • The Block first reported CIA Labs' blockchain focus.
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