April 2017
Blockchains - on the NASCIO Agenda
Eric Sweden, Program Director, 
Enterprise Architecture & Governance

Blockchain is a term that encompasses more than technology. There is a massive potential significance on the global economy that will gradually come to fruition. There are new developments publicized almost daily on either research, new experiments, or new offerings in the marketplace. 
There is much to learn from the early implementations and experimentation that is occurring with blockchains. Across the states and territories, the state of Illinois is in the lead with a deliberate strategy for exploiting this new technology.

Some of the early implementations will involve processes that have need of an audit trail, or need to document the lineage of transactions and ownership. A characteristic that make this technology useful to government is a common and shared record of transactions. The immutability of this shared record and the inherent security imbedded in this "chain of blocks" make blockchain particularly attractive to government's role in ensuring integrity and trustworthiness through the complete lineage of its transactions. 

In a blockchain network, everyone in the network has a copy of the ledger. Trust and authenticity of that ledger is guaranteed by the entire network of participants. Given this new paradigm of trust, the roles of audit, control, validation and authentication are enabled and also significantly changed. The nature of business transactions, recording and reporting are transformed.

This new technology and economics will have immense impact on how government conducts its business. There will be emerging new standards and best practices. Governments will eventually employ blockchain technology routinely in the management and delivery of many services related to property titles, professional credentialing, healthcare reimbursements, birth and death certificates, tax calculations and payments. And new government policy, legislation and regulation will emerge. 

Stay tuned to NASCIO as we're anticipating great change with this new technology and economics.
he challenges. Case studies, exercises and guest speakers will be included.
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Watch on Washington Top 5
  1. FirstNet awards contract to AT&T. On March 30, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced AT&T the winner of the FirstNet contract. The draft state plans is on track to be released this summer; final plans will follow in fall 2017. States should be prepared to review the draft plan and provide limited feedback.
  2. Dead FCC Internet privacy rule resurrects itself in states. In early April, President Trump signed a measure to undo FCC privacy and data security rules which prevented ISPs from selling consumer browsing history without consent and required ISPs to provide breach notification. In response, several states have introduced state legislation that largely mimic the now obsolete federal regulations. 
  3. Cyber SaaS tool gets SAFETY Act designation. The Cybernance Platform is a SaaS tool that works to help monitor an enterprise's cyber posture by allowing company leaders to view and manage cyber risk. The SAFETY Act designation provides liability protections to sellers and buyers of Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies by capping or eliminating third party liability in the event of an act of terrorism. Click here to see other technologies that have received the designation. 
  4. Federal focus on IoT. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) continues to advance the IoT policy issue. On April 26, the NTIA will host a meeting, "IoT Security Upgradability and Patching," the ultimate goal of which is to "foster a market offering more devices and systems that support security upgrades through increased consumer awareness and understanding." 
  5. NASCIO, NGA and other signal support for State Cyber Resiliency Act. On April 17, NASCIO released a letter signaling support for the strong intergovernmental partnership reflected in the State Cyber Resiliency Act.
Government is where innovation happens. Delivering services to constituents where they live and work, agencies are using technology to strengthen community connections. AT&T continues to spearhead the network revolution, driving innovation and investing more capital than any other US public company. 

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