|It’s been nearly a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto first dreamt up the core component of the technology known as blockchain – the decentralized, digital currency Bitcoin has evolved into a robust tool revolutionizing both the public and private sectors.
Don Tapscott, the CEO of Tapscott Group and co-author of Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World, described blockchain as “an extraordinary thing. An immutable, unhackable distributed database of digital assets. This is a platform for truth and it’s a platform for trust. The implications are staggering, not just for the financial-services industry but also right across virtually every aspect of society.”
Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed database that can record and timestamp transactions across multiple computers in a secure way that prohibits retroactive alterations. Information stored in a blockchain can be verified and audited in an inexpensive manner and is “authenticated by mass collaboration and powered by collective self-interests.” Blockchain uses peer-to-peer cryptographic validation mechanisms, with no need for third-party intermediaries to authenticate or settle transactions. Blockchain’s ability to facilitate secure online transactions is a big reason why this technology has been adopted so widely.
Blockchain technology can benefit the GovCon industry in a variety of ways. Because the peer-to-peer cryptographic validation eliminates the need for a third-party intermediary to settle transactions, blockchain could speed up the transaction processes in contract awards. The secure platform blockchain provides would add a transactional layer so that service functions are retained, executed and recorded. Blockchain could enable the government to solicit work and distribute funds more easily, and the platform encourages vendor compliance.
Because of its versatility and power, many people believe that blockchain will have the same impact on business and daily life that the internet had. So far, a lot of investment activity in blockchain has come from the private sector and a myriad of blockchain focused startups. This indicates an opportunity for the GovCon industry.
The U.S. has the potential to set itself up as a global leader in blockchain technology, but to do so the government and the private sector will have to cooperate, with the government providing a space for the open source ecosystem to thrive while also creating regulatory parameters for the private sector to operate in.
As of yet, it is unclear whether there will be mass adoption of blockchain technology, but the speed at which it has emerged, and the impact it could potentially have, make blockchain the next technology to watch.
Earlier this week, the Trump administration recommended deploying several thousand more troops to Afghanistan to break the stalemate in the 15-year war. Sending more troops to Afghanistan would enable American advisors to work with more Afghan forces and help bring stability to the region.
President Trump has yet to approve the recommendation, and has until the May 25th NATO meeting to solidify his Afghan strategy. If he adopts the recommendation, there will be ample opportunities for the GovCon industry, especially given the $598.5 billion discretionary budget of the Department of Defense.
In a statement released by the DoD on May 2nd, Secretary of Defense Mattis pointed out that a portion of the new DoD budget will be used to “support ongoing operations in Afghanistan.” Mattis did not provide any specific details on how the money would be used to support the operations, but it seems likely it will go towards air support, Special Operations partnerships and keeping troops supplied, trained and equipped.
This situation certainly warrants monitoring. If the recommendation is approved, then we will be seeing an uptick in military related RFIs, RFPs, and contracts.
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