Blockchain Programs in Action
In this section find and contribute quick reference links to current programs, initiatives, pilots, events, RFIs or other efforts in progress.
This section is in early states of development and should not be considered comprehensive.
Centers for Disease Control
For the past several months, the CDC’s Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services has worked on several proofs of concept based on blockchain technology, with an eye toward building real applications next year. Most are geared toward better public health surveillance, which could include using a blockchain to more efficiently manage data during a crisis or to better track opioid abuse. For more information, read a recent report.
Department of Defense
The The Joint Staff, J4 Logistics Directorate and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Maintenance, Policy, and Programs are co-leading a project to create a “point of use, time of need” digital supply chain enabled by Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) and Blockchain. With the introduction of distributed manufacturing, the path from design engineering to manufacturing now includes a digital distribution phase. As the digital thread extends connectivity deep into manufacturing supply chains, cyber security must be an integral part of any successful manufacturing roadmap. AM files can be easily transmitted with the click of a mouse. The digital nature of AM means that parts and products are easier to share and transmit, enabling the creation of a digital supply network and supply chains. AM, with its reliance on the digital thread, is one area which can be especially vulnerable to cyber threats and intrusions. In order to fully realize the benefits of AM within a defined distribution network, secure data transport must be addressed. Blockchain is one solution to mitigate those risks.
Participants include: Joint Staff, J4; OSD, DASD MPP; OSD, Chief Information Office; Joint Staff Innovation Group; Dept of Commerce, National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST); National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS); Commercial Technologies for Maintenance Activities (CTMA); United States Navy; United States Army; United States Marine Corps; United States Air Force; Defense Logistics Agency; and Industry Partners.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Launched in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship and Action (IDEA) Lab, Information Exchange and Data Transformation (INFORMED) is an incubator for collaborative oncology regulatory science research focused on supporting innovations that enhance FDA’s mission of promotion and protection of the public health. It is exploring the utility of open-access platforms and emerging technologies such as blockchain to enable secure exchange of health data at scale. According to the upcoming ACT-IAC Blockchain Primer resource, “this includes the exchange of electronic medical records (EMRs) and other information such as genomic data, clinical trial information, and data collected from IOT devices and wearables. Blockchain can provide an audit trail by tracking changes to the EMR as well as help track and control access to the EMR. Blockchain can provide healthcare providers with the longitudinal data about a patient without having the actual protected health information (PHI) reside on the actual ledger.” For more information, visit the website.
General Services Administration
Schedule 70: The General Services Administration (GSA) is using distributed ledger technology to automate the FASt Lane process for IT Schedule 70 contracts. The FAStlane program ensures government customer agencies have quicker access to emerging technologies and innovative suppliers. Currently the requirements are less than 48 hours for contract modifications, and 45 days (or less) for new offers. At the September 20 ACT-IAC (American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council) Forum Mr. Jose Arrieta unveiled the working prototype created by two companies, United Solutions (prime contractor) and Sapient Consulting (subcontractor). The prototype will shorten the time required to perform the contract review process into single digit days. This technology will allow the agency to track vendor data across disparate systems. For more information, read a recent report.
Office of Information Technology Category: GSA hosted a Blockchain Training Day (5.5 CLP) was delivered by subject matter experts to meet the objectives outlined in the Blockchain training curriculum. GSA is positioned to advise and assist the development of Blockchain proof-of-concepts and to assist agencies to prepare the procurement plans for proof-of-concepts.
Emerging Citizen Technology: GSA’s Emerging Citizen Technology program launched the government-wide Blockchain initiative, including both an internal federal community of more than 200 managers and a public-facing listserv of more than 100 U.S. businesses, researchers, subject matter experts and more. It also launched the U.S. Federal Blockchain Forum and “Emerging Tech and Open Data for a More Open Government,” a workshop to draft the first potential national goals for Blockchain through Open Government, as well as this U.S. Emerging Citizen Technology Atlas.
Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) organized The “Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-Related Research” Ideation Challenge to solicit white papers on the topic of Blockchain technology and the potential use in health IT to address privacy, security, and scalability challenges of managing electronic health records and resources. For more information on the challenge, visit the website.
ONC also hosted a workshop, the Use of Blockchain in Healthcare an Research, with NIST to discuss the outcomes of the challenge and provide deeper materials into uses of Blockchain. For more an information and workshop materials, visit the website.
Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is taking the lead with research and development projects in this area to determine viable uses for the technology. Cutting through the sensationalism associated with such a product, S&T sees the reality of blockchain’s promise. With such potential, proving the security and privacy aspects is precisely where S&T currently is focusing its resources. It is doing so via Small Business Innovation Research projects to investigate the various capabilities of blockchain. This includes security and privacy characteristics as well as exploring its immutability, data integrity and anti-spoofing aspects via a Silicon Valley Innovation Program project. If these research projects bear fruit, S&T will begin developing ways to implement blockchain technology to better safeguard the American people, our homeland and our values.
National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology has conducted numerous reports on the potential of Blockchain technology, including Introduction to Blockchain,, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies: Opportunities, Challenges and Future Work,, and host a Github repo for early Blockchain prototypes.
This summer the Naval Innovation Advisory Council is conducting a series of experiments (including a proof of concept) using blockchain technology to both securely share data between Additive Manufacturing sites, as well as help secure the digital thread of design and production. A report will be issued, showing the practical application of this technology in a controlled environment, and then illustrating the ability to open the aperture and dramatically revolutionize other aspects of Naval operations. For more information, visit the briefing.
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management Human Resources Line of Business (OPM HRLB) program office recognizes that a coherent innovative capability to managing data is a prerequisite to any business transformation or technology modernization effort. They are working in partnership with OPM’s Chief Information Officer to set the foundation for a successful implementation of the Federal Employee Digital Record (EDR), which will contain all relevant employee data for the entire human capital lifecycle. The recent RFI for the EDR places a preference on solutions that include Blockchain technology and other emerging technologies. To learn more about the EDR initiative, view the RFI.
U.S. Postal Service
The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) contracted with Swiss Economics, a consulting firm with interest and expertise in blockchain technology, to better understand the technology and its features, as well as identify areas of potential interest for the Postal Service. In the long-term, the Postal Service’s experimentation with blockchain technology in financial applications could naturally expand into other applications enabled by the technology. In their paper, the OIG outlines three other areas of potential interest to the Postal Service: identity services, device management, and supply chain management. For more information, visit their website.
Department of State
On October 10, the State Department welcomed over 250 participants at the Blockchain@State forum —a one-day, discovery workshop for the State Department, interagency partners, and private sector stakeholders to explore how blockchain technology could strengthen our capacity and improve our efficiency in meeting the United States’ diplomacy and development goals. Participants represented over 150 different entities across the public-private spectrum. Following Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan’s opening remarks underscoring the importance of innovation in diplomacy and development, participants engaged in dialogue with private sector partners currently using blockchain technology in the field with a focus on current use cases. Speakers also examined potential approaches to embarking on a pilot project in partnership with other sectors. Following the successful launch of its exploratory efforts, the State Department is currently considering possible next steps in this space. The two recorded sessions from the forum can be found here; YouTube versions will be available soon.
State of Delaware
The State of Delaware announced an initiative to embrace the emerging blockchain and smart contract technology industry, which can help the public and enterprises lower their transactional costs, speed up and automate manual processes, and reduce fraud. It was unveiled the plan during a keynote address at Consensus 2016, a technology conference in New York focused on blockchain innovation. The Delaware Blockchain Initiative is a comprehensive program to provide an enabling regulatory and legal environment for the development of blockchain technology and to welcome blockchain companies to locate in the state. For more information view the press release.
State of Illinois
The State of Illinois recently announced a consortium of Illinois state and county agencies, known as the Illinois Blockchain Initiative, who will collaborate to explore innovations presented by Blockchain and distributed ledger technology. DoIT is actively engaged in this effort. The goal of the initiative is to determine if this groundbreaking technology can be leveraged to create more efficient, integrated and trusted state services, while providing a welcoming environment for the Blockchain community. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology has the potential to transform the delivery of public and private services, redefine the relationship between government and the citizen in terms of data sharing, transparency and trust, and make a leading contribution to the State’s digital transformation. For more information on the initiative, visit the website.
U.S. Department of Treasury
The Bureau of the Fiscal Service's Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation (FIT) has launched two pilot projects exploring innovative technologies - Robotic Process Automation and Distributed Ledger Technology - that can boost efficiency, strengthen accountability, and cut paperwork for the Federal government. Distributed Ledger Technology have both been shown to accelerate processing times, create efficiencies, and strengthen financial controls in the commercial sector. FIT believes Blockchain should be explored and applied to government challenges just as they have in the commercial sector. For more information on the initiative, visit the website.