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区块链国际资讯

美国国务院百亿美元大计促进区块链技术发展

监管外交事务的美国政府机构开始严肃对待区块链。

此消息源自John Sullivan,在周二华盛顿Blockchain@State论坛上鼓励国务院(State Department)及其私营部门合作伙伴拥抱区块链,以此“推进外交和发展目标”的美国副国务卿。

面对其他政府部门、私营部门和非营利机构的观众,Sullivan提出区块链可能是实现国务卿Rex Tillerson提议的国务院大规模重组的重要部分。

“这个论坛对我们进行中的重新规划设计有影响,我们有兴趣了解区块链是否可以直接应用于重新规划建议的重要功能”。

九月份Tillerson首次提出该建议,目的是五年内节省百亿美元的目标。尽管Sullivan承认区块链不是国务院问题的“灵丹妙药”,却强调期待看到该技术用于改善内部流程和提高效率。

论坛探索了区块链技术改善国务院管理国际援助、推动民主、改善政府职能和美国盟国政治局势等核心任务的可能方式。

之后Sullivan(受特朗普任命,并于五月份宣誓就职)敦促国务院及其权益人努力思考该技术如何用于外交环境,强化国家安全及促进更大的经济繁荣。

身份认证领域已经参与

至少一些行业参与者把Sullivan的鼓励放进心里。

比如参与赞助此次论坛的纽约区块链开发公司ConsenSys创始人兼首席执行官Joseph Lubin称,基于区块链的自我主权身份项目会立刻对国务院目标产生深远影响,尤其是与人道主义援助有关的目标。

“一旦人们拥有自己的身份,他们不那么痴迷于国土,不那么容易受到自然灾害和战争等逆境的影响。所以如果某个人被驱逐,如果他们已经建立了自我主权身份,他们就可以重建自己的生活”。

此番讲话获得其他论坛参与者的认可,发展中国家身份和金融服务供应商BanQu首席执行官Ashish Gadnis强调终端用户拥有、控制个人数据并从中获利的重要性。

“我们提供给难民的援助都是单方面的。也就是说,他们是我们和其他人交易的接受方,然而他们不存在,因为他们不拥有或者控制自己的数据”。

Sullivan还主张区块链可能打击国际援助分配领域一些普遍挑战,比如腐败、诈骗和资金滥用。他说,也许不仅可以解决这些挑战,还有其他领域,比如消除发展中国家政府对土地产权登记控制中的腐败现象。

尽管基于区块链的自我主权身份受到行业欢迎,可是一些人认为问题的解决取决于智能合约技术的先进程度,这正是Lubin呼吁关注的领域。

他认为,用智能合约搭建国际框架和条约可以打击与联合国、北大西洋公约组织(NATO)等条约相关的“搭便车问题”,两者要处理成员国常常无法兑现财务承诺的问题。

The U.S. agency that oversees foreign affairs is looking seriously at blockchain.

That's according to John Sullivan, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, who encouraged the State Department and its private sector partners to embrace the technology as a way to "advance diplomacy and development objectives" at the Blockchain@State forum held Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Speaking to an audience comprised of other government agencies, members of the private sector and non-profits, Sullivan went so far as to suggest blockchain could be a key part of the massive restructuring of the department proposed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who leads the agency.

Sullivan told attendees:

"This forum has implications for our ongoing redesign efforts. We're interested to learn whether blockchain technology can have direct applications to many of the key features of our proposed redesign."

Tillerson first proposed the redesign, which seeks to save as much as $10 billion over five years, in September. And while Sullivan acknowledged blockchain isn't a "panacea" to the agency's problems, he emphasized that he's keen to see the technology used to improve internal processes and capture efficiency gains.

The forum explored numerous ways in which blockchains might improve core agency mandates such as administering foreign aid, promoting democracy and improving governance and political institutions in U.S.-allied countries.

With that, Sullivan (who was appointed by President Donald Trump and sworn in this May) urged the agency and its stakeholders to think hard about how the technology could be deployed in a diplomatic context to strengthen national security and promote greater economic prosperity.

Identity is in

And at least some industry participants are taking Sullivan's encouragement to heart.

For instance, Joseph Lubin, founder and CEO of ConsenSys, the New York-based blockchain development firm that co-sponsored the event, argued that a blockchain-based self-sovereign identity scheme could have an immediate and far-reaching impact toward the agency's goals, especially those that have to do with humanitarian aid.

Lubin told CoinDesk:

"Once people own their own identity, then they're less enthralled to their governments and less subject to adverse situations like natural disasters and wars. So, if someone is ejected from their country, if they've already established self-sovereign identity they can reconstitute their life."

Other speakers at the event agreed, with Ashish Gadnis, CEO of BanQu, a provider of identity and financial services in developing countries, highlighting the importance of end users owning, controlling and possibly monetizing their personal data.

"All the aid we give to refugees is one-sided. This means that they are recipients of transactions from people like us, yet ... they don't exist because they don’t own or control their own data," Gadnis said.

Sullivan also gave credence to the idea that blockchain could combat pervasive challenges in the area of foreign aid distribution such as corruption, fraud and the misappropriation of funds. He continued, saying these same challenges might not only be solved in aid distribution, but also in other areas, such as eliminating the corruption in government's control over land title registries in the developing world.

While the concept of a blockchain-based self-sovereign identity has been a favorite of the industry, it's a particularly hard problem to fix – one that some believe depends on how advanced smart contract technology becomes, another area Lubin called attention to.

In his mind, constructing international frameworks and treaties using smart contracts could serve as a means to combat the "free rider" problems associated with agreements like the United Nations or NATO, both of which deal with member countries frequently failing to fulfill their financial commitments with little consequence.


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