European Union Looking to Blockchain Technology for Defense?

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    European Union, Blockchain, Defence, Defense, EU, European Commission, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency

    The European Union has put out a call for proposals targeting innovative defence products, solutions and technologies to the community of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's). They are offering up to 10 million euro to support several consortium defence proposals and considering multiple contributions of up to 2.5 million euro to kick off individual proposals.

    “The development of innovative and future-oriented defence products and technologies relies on the innovation capacity of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).”

    More specifically they are looking for innovative defence products, solutions, materials and technologies, including those that can create a disruptive effect and improve readiness, deployability, reliability, safety and sustainability of EU forces in all spectrum of tasks and missions. For example, in operations, equipment, infrastructure, basing, energy solutions, new surveillance systems.

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    “Several actions, addressing different defence products, solutions, materials and technologies, may be funded under this call.”

    The obvious blockchain solution is to address defence supply chains. Think about tracking and tracing weapons, troops, vaccines, masks or gloves. Or more likely, tracking people with or without Covid-19. Microsoft just put out a patent titled “Cryptocurrency System Using Body Activity Data” which outlines a new cryptocurrency that uses body activity data for mining and will allow users to mine a new token using brain waves or body heat. 

    Blockchain technology already augments the supply chain of retailers like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Shopper's Drug Mart (with the cannabis traceability in Canada) and others to improve how they store information about their suppliers, reinforce product authenticity to prevent counterfeiting of goods. 

    Record management is key. Voting online becomes viable with blockchain technology. Think taxes and the benefit of the anti-trust problems non-profits have. Legal systems can benefit from better compliance and regulatory oversight with blockchain. The energy industry use of blockchain is already taking place. 

    With the use of blockchain smart contracts, government and industry can also improve:

    • Provenance and total transparency of goods— from the source point to end consumption, from farm to fork. Or from lab to arm – vaccine distribution. 
    • Accurate asset tracking resulting in a massive drop in forgery and fraud. 
    • Enhanced licensing of products, services and software. Middlemen can't gouge in times of need.

    Other uses could include monetary. Digital Euro? Eurocrypto?

    • Seamlessly execute payments and contracts, and streamline auditability. All the transactions are immediately visible to authorized parties, meaning no one can tamper, delete or conceal any information added to the blockchain.
    • Create transparent and controlled transactions. Blockchain has no intermediary which ends up resulting in faster and more transparent settlements. Payment conditions can be pre-programmed in smart contracts automatically, including the visibility of a transaction, so that it can only be visible to the authorized participants.
    • Preapproved transaction fees.
    • Reliable. Due to its distributed nature, blockchain does not have a single point of failure and all the transactions processed on the blockchain are immutable and irrevocable, further eliminating the risks of fraud.

    Blockchain can also be used for citizen data management (like in Estonia), security and sharing as well as loyalty programmes (good soldier!).

    The EU can use blockchain to better manage what follows its Horizon 2020 innovation grant programme in 2021. Horizon 2020 is one of the world's largest research and innovation programmes, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). 

    In the Netherlands, TYMLEZ is offering up Blockchain to the Dutch government for ecosystem modelling of the current situation concerning the distribution of medical supplies (supply chain logistics) in the country. 

    Tripled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain technology can provide clarity into the global economy in multiple ways. But we cannot allow it to shapeshift into the path China has taken with its social credit system and massive and intrusive surveillance system. A group at MIT is at work on a blockchain system called NOvid192020 which can address privacy concerns by using special cryptographic techniques called zero-knowledge-proofs, which make it possible to prove something about the data without actually sharing the data. Hence, the data is verified, user-controlled, and encrypted. It is not under the control of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, or any government.

    Blockchain for good is key.


    Also published on Medium.