IBM wants to get Uncle Sam on a blockchain. The digital ledger technology that underlies bitcoin is ready to be used for everything from paying taxes to tracking food and drug shipments to newer, more secure identification cards, said Jerry Cuomo, vice president of blockchain technology at IBM, at a hearing Wednesday organized by the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.

“There is an opportunity for the United States to build upon its momentum to lead blockchain by doing,” Cuomo said in his testimony. “We should focus our efforts on projects that can positively impact US economic competitiveness, citizens, and businesses.”

Cuomo encouraged lawmakers to focus on incorporating blockchain technology into already established governmental projects and programs, rather than trying to start new blockchain-themed initiatives. That could help speed its use and adoption and help the US stay at the forefront of blockchain development, he said.

Government agencies at both the federal and state level are already experimenting with the technology. Some states are developing blockchain-based drivers licenses and identification cards.

Meanwhile, IBM is working with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on some blockchain projects, including one that could speed the CDC’s ability to develop new drugs. Right now, drug development involves lots of paperwork. Blockchain technology could help improve the process by putting all of the important information related to drug development in an easily accessible and secure place online. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of