IBM Exec to US Gov’t: ‘Safeguard’ Blockchain Innovation or Risk Falling Behind

IBM Blockchain Technologies Executive Jerry Cuomo testified on May 16 before the President’s Commission concerning National Cyber Security. Cuomo spoke on the attributes of blockchain technology and its use in society. The meeting involved a panel of government officials and other technological firm representatives.

Also read: Vitalik Buterin: Russia’s Crypto Ban Would Stifle Blockchains

IBM Familiarizes Gov’t with New Tech, Again

IBMJerry Cuomo has been heading IBM’s blockchain initiative since the company started its research and development with the protocol. The multinational corporation has also partnered with the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger, which offers distributed ledger tech within a cloud-based system.

Testifying before the commission in New York City, Cuomo wants leaders to look into the benefits of blockchains as soon as possible. Cuomo and many others believe the technology could enhance national security and financial matters, ensuring immutable record keeping and curb cyber attacks. IBM’s chief of blockchain technology said to the commission:

Blockchain has tremendous potential to help transform business and society, but it’s so strikingly different from what people are used to that many business and government leaders are adopting a wait-and-see attitude — We applaud judicious caution, but, at the same time, we believe that organizations and institutions that don’t quickly assess the potential of blockchain and begin experimenting with it risk falling behind as the world undergoes what we see as a tectonic shift.

IBMOn the same day in a blog post, Cuomo stated that IBM believes blockchain technology will be an “essential tool” within business and society’s transactions. He notes that eighty years ago when the company helped the U.S. create the social security system. Now, with distributed ledger applications, government agencies can have robust trust and security measures and even develop “open source governance.” While speaking to the commission, he noted that Bitcoin is the most well-known permissionless network but added that there is more to the technology than just currency. Cuomo explains to the President’s Commission:     

While Bitcoin is an anonymous network, industries and government agencies are exploring the use of blockchain in networks where the participants are known — We call this a permissioned blockchain.

Cuomo also told the panel that government should not stifle innovation, but rather “safeguard them.” He believes the technology will revolutionize security and financial management systems. The distributed ledger innovation Cuomo describes could lead to proof-of-identity solutions in social security, data provenance, secure transactions, and sharing intelligence. With blockchain, Cuomo states, officials “could confidentially share information in real time that, when combined with data from other companies, could be used to spot patterns and quickly develop countermeasures.”

What do you think about IBM speaking to the President’s Commission concerning blockchain technology? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of IBM-affiliated websites, and Pixabay.

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