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Blockchain collage

On May 16, Jerry Cuomo, IBM’s Vice President for Blockchain, testified before the President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cyber Security. Cuomo said he believes the technology could dramatically change the way financial systems are secured and that government, technology companies and industries should work together to advance blockchain to enhance national security. IBM has some creditability in this area. Eighty years ago, IBM helped the U.S. government create the Social Security system. This was a bold initiative at the time. Cuomo said it was the most complex financial system ever developed. Now, IBM is taking a proactive approach to work with the government to advance blockchain technology. The goal is to make financial systems of the future more efficient and secure. Cuomo said,

Blockchain has inherent qualities that provide trust and security, but to fulfill its promise, the core technology must be further developed using an open-source governance model to make it deployable on a grand scale. Government agencies can become early adopters of blockchain applications. In addition, government has a key role to play in certifying the identities of participants in blockchain-based systems. 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.

Blockchain is potentially a game-changer in other than financial areas. In my upcoming new book, Election Attitude, I will suggest blockchain as the key to enabling Internet voting. The current system of paper ballots and aging voting machines is becoming a crisis. Millions of votes are lost due to registration database errors, lost ballots, and errors in the counting of the votes.