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Try Blockchain in Federal Data Strategy, Experts Urge White House

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Experts in open data suggest that the US federal government should get more agencies investing in blockchain using the federal data strategy, for a restricted set of use cases at least.

The federal data strategy was made public just last week and it asks agencies to adopt common standards to ensure their internal data was more accessible and usable across the government. Although experts do not see blockchain as a cure-all for the ills in government strategy, they do see that it could ease the information sharing sought by state agencies.

A recent report from the Data Foundation says:

“As the federal government moves forward in developing a federal data strategy, consideration can be given to how blockchain might enable better recognizing data as a strategic asset for government. A blockchain can bring a wider circle of participants into a project that produces open data for public use.”

Beyond the hype of blockchain, researchers say that not everything about the technology is beyond pragmatic use. For example, it does have great potential in its ability to track all changes made to a specific asset can ensure datasets and other records manipulated by many different users maintain their accuracy and reliability. They also said it worked best for standardized processes that are not changed often. And in the case of US government agencies, it certainly seemed a match.

Should state agencies work within clearly defined rules for accessing and updating data on a shared ledger, more groups could access open data projects while maintaining cooperation between trusted parties.

The report does additionally note: “Whether blockchain will ultimately prove a success in government is yet to be seen. But for now, applying blockchain for government programs and operations should be a welcome development when possible.”

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