As the wider technology industry explores the possibilities that blockchain brings, there has been a focus on the financial industry itself. As our understanding of the abilities of blockchain has grown, so the proposed applications for the technology have broadened as well. The recent announcement of DARPA, the US Department of Defense office, that they are proposing building a new highly secure communication platform for battlefield operation using blockchain as the foundation is perhaps the best example of the sheer breadth of ability that blockchain has.
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The cryptocurrency industry has been heavily focused on the underlying Blockchain technology and the potential that it has across a wide range of applications. While the startups and investment have mostly been involved with the financial industry itself, as the huge level of investment funding available has filter out to newer industry startups, interesting new applications in widely different market sectors has been increasingly proposed.
One of the most interesting to appear so far was announced recently by a major US defense agency that is definitely something new. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is an office within the US Department of Defense that is dedicated to investigating the opportunities found within emerging technologies. Indeed, DARPA was the department that created the ARPANET project, one of the internet’s early predecessors.
What is interesting is that DARPA is proposing that Blockchain is used to create a secure messaging system, something very different to the kind of proposals we have seen from commercial startups, where the focus has been on creating operational efficiency within financial transactions and record keeping for much of the funding. However, here they propose using the framework of blockchain and its unique properties to create a secure way for department of Defense offices to interact with each other.
Specifically, DARPA propose the use of a decentralized ledger to facilitate the broadcast of encrypted messages. This includes possible network communications over satellite, as well as interdepartmental purchases within the department of defense itself. Further developments proposed could see the technology used as a foundation for battlefield communication solutions that would provide a secure method of communication safe from hacking attacks.
This new proposal is exciting for a couple of reasons, as discussed the proposed use is a new direction that is itself, but there is also another aspect that bodes well for the industry. That a reasonably prominent office within the Department of Defense is working with blockchain technology is itself something important for the industry. In terms of funding and other resources, very few organizations in the world can match the US Department of Defense when it is developing a new application. Acceptance here, and proving a viable platform for applications, will benefit the cryptocurrency industry for the long term.