Group Calls on U.S. to Follow Global Blockchain Trend as ‘Blockchain Bill of Rights’ Launches

In yet another call related to China’s supposed lead in the blockchain technology deployment narrative, a group of entities including globally-recognised brands in the technology industry has called on the U.S. to act fast so the control of the technology’s rein won’t fall in the hands of China and Russia.

“Their technologies are seen as ways of disrupting the U.S. sphere of influence across the developing world and reducing reliance on the United States dollar, which is a very important objective of China and Russia,” the executive summary of a white paper entitled Potential Uses of Blockchain By The U.S. Department of Defense says about China and Russia’s perceived forge ahead in the blockchain space. “Therefore, it is essential that the U.S. protects its leading economic position by remaining ahead of the curve on the next wave of technological innovation.”

That the call is neither coming from an individual nor an entity this time but from a group of industry insiders makes it a bit different from concerns expressed in the past. Released by the Value Technology Foundation, along with nine co-authoring sponsors, including Amazon, IBM, Accenture, and Consensys, the white paper touches on how China and Russia have signaled their intentions to invest heavily in Distributed Ledger Technology to outwit the U.S. and increase “their abilities to influence the global economy, surveil citizens, and create highly technical and sophisticated messaging systems with communications” that the U.S. intelligence agencies have difficulty tracking.

They called on the U.S. to follow the global trend which has seen companies turn to blockchain technologies to strengthen their supply chains. This is to help address perceived “weaknesses in the U.S. military’s supply chain” which can “easily be exploited by enemies”.

“Supply chain use cases for blockchain technology include verifying the provenance of goods, protecting the food supply, and thwarting counterfeit goods from entering the supply chain, among others,” the white paper states noting that the technology’s adoption is more than essential at this point when the “risk of counterfeit or non-conforming components making it into the DoD supply chain has increased dramatically in recent years.”

The group’s call comes before the ‘Blockchain Bill of Rights’ was launched to be a global baseline for building blockchain applications that respect participant rights, safeguard data and protect users. Called Presidio Principles: the foundational values for a decentralized future, the 16 user rights that make up the newly-launched document were developed for over a year by the World Economic Forum Global Blockchain Council as part of efforts to align the public and private sectors globally which is needed to enable blockchain technology scale in its next phase.

Founding Principal at Radian Partners, Jen Zhu Scott, describes the Presidio Principles as that which will “encourage aspiring entrepreneurs, builders, and participants to co-create a Digital Economy 2.0 that is inclusive, transparent, and with profound respect and protection to individual digital rights so we can empower the people as well as the businesses.”

The principles are meant to be a steering document for the blockchain community by helping highlight participant rights that ought to be preserved in applications built on blockchain-based systems. It is not legally binding.

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