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Trump's Security Hawks Call Distributed Ledgers 'Critical' in US-China Tech Arms Race

DLT is among 20 "critical and emerging" technologies in the Trump Administration's new strategy for preserving the U.S.' technological edge.

Oct 15, 2020 at 5:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:10 a.m. UTC

The Trump Administration has included "distributed ledger technologies" (DLT), the grandaddy tech behind cryptocurrency and blockchain, in its strategy for preserving America's technological supremacy over China and Russia.

  • DLT is one of 20 focus areas on the National Security Council's "critical and emerging technologies" shortlist, released Thursday.
  • The NSC's strategy calls for investing in, developing, adopting and promoting the priority technologies.
  • Also on the shortlist: AI, data science, quantum computing and "space technologies," weapons of mass destruction mitigation technologies, and others.
  • Absent from the document: hard numbers and a concrete roadmap to implementation.
  • Pockets of the U.S. government are already investing in blockchain infrastructure, the Department of Homeland Security most publicly so.
  • The U.S. military is also examining DLT for combat operations, but efforts are still in their early stages.
  • Chinese officials have long been bullish on DLT. A state-sanctioned distributed network for hosting dapps and internet services debuted months ago.
  • It is not quite as clear where Russia stands on state-sponsored DLT use cases.

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