New CompTIA Guide Clears Up Blockchain’s Benefits to Public Sector

By / Jul 24, 2018 (MF3d/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

With interest in blockchain peaking, CompTIA is targeting its latest report on the technology directly at the public sector—both to explain how it could aid different government entities and how smart policy could strengthen its benefits.

The blockchain is often a very confusing thing to understand, let alone embrace, so it makes sense that a little explanation is needed, even for the public sector.

Fortunately, a technology association is ready to help. This week, CompTIA released a new guidebook on the blockchain, “Harnessing the Blockchain Revolution: CompTIA’s Practical Guide for the Public Sector,” with the goal of clearing the air about one of the most ambitious new technologies out there.

“CompTIA is committed to helping public sector officials understand a wide variety of emerging tech innovations, and blockchain is a perfect example of a promising new technology that is both little understood and yet holds tremendous potential for the public sector,” said David Logsdon, the group’s senior director of public advocacy for new and emerging technologies, in a news release.

The report, which CompTIA says is designed for both novices and those with a deeper understanding of blockchain technology, dives into what the technology does (something that isn’t clear to much of the public); how it can work to improve different processes; where it’s being used at different levels of government as well as in the private sector; and recommendations the association has for supporting the technology from a policy standpoint.

“As more and more businesses, governments, and other institutions begin to look seriously at blockchain’s benefits, so too might they begin considering how to incentivize the continued development of blockchain innovations that can be used to make government operations more secure, transparent, and efficient,” the report states.

The report notes that a number of public sector bodies are already exploring the use of blockchain, most notably the Department of Defense, which was given the go-ahead to research such technology as part of the most recent military spending bill.

Highlighting the diversity of the technology, other parts of the executive branch such as the Department of Homeland Security, the Food and Drug Administration, the State Department, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are analyzing or piloting uses of blockchain internally. In addition, a number of states have passed blockchain-related legislation, and some states and cities are even attempting to adopt the technology themselves.

The report recommends that Congress create an advisory group to support federal stakeholders on blockchain issues. It also advises that federal and state governments create a “regulatory sandbox” environment for those experimenting with the technology to develop and test their tools.

In tandem with the new report, CompTIA held an event on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to discuss the potential benefits and challenges of blockchain, with experts from some of the association’s member companies—including IBM, Dell, Deloitte, and Grant Thornton—taking part.

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