Even as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) remains hesitant when it comes to digital currencies, the White House is openly voicing its support of the blockchain technology which has long been linked with them. Two senior White House officials spoke at Data Transparency 2017, a conference which centers on government and open data, reiterating the Trump administration’s support for blockchain technology in the government. According to CoinDesk, the officials “emphasized that distributed ledger technology is increasingly being viewed as essential to U.S. policy and strategy considerations.”
Blockchain and AI Singled Out
The acting federal chief information officer for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Margie Graves, said that “with artificial intelligence and blockchain, the [White House] is exploring a whole range of capabilities that might be helpful to government.” The OMB is responsible for realizing the president’s vision for how the executive branch of government is structured. Part of this vision is to streamline bureaucratic procedures and help to improve responsiveness through the use of technology.
Graves indicated that she will meet with Don Tapscott, a prominent blockchain advocate, in the near future to explore ways in which the government might adopt the technology. “These kinds of technologies are always something that we should explore,” she said. “I don’t want my customers to be the last to know, or to be the last to be able to take advantage of some of these.”
Assistant to the president and director of strategic initiatives at the White House Chris Liddell indicated that data management concerns are a long-term goal for the executive branch. By implementing foundational standards of data now, he believes that the U.S. will better be able to make use of blockchain and related technologies in the future. “As we look to the future, we want to ensure that today’s reforms do not hinder tomorrow’s adoption of emerging technologies,” he said at the conference. “Whether it is blockchain, artificial intelligence or perhaps a new technology that hasn’t yet been envisaged, standardized data will help ensure the government stays current of technology’s latest trends.”
This is not the first time Trump administration officials have expressed support and optimism regarding blockchain. CoinDesk has reported that a number of U.S. governmental agencies have experimented with pilot projects utilizing the technology. The Centers for Disease Control and the General Services Administration are among the agencies that have indicated potential interest in these areas. Mark Calabria, the chief economist to Vice President Mike Pence, told conference-goers in Washington earlier this year that the Trump White House was enthusiastic toward blockchain, suggesting that more developments were to come.