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US Air Force Adopts Blockchain for Secure Communications


The U.S. Air Force are looking to blockchain technology for securing communications.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has been considering leveraging blockchain technology for military purposes, particularly for securing communication by defense personnel. In 2019, the DoD revealed that tests were already underway to explore blockchain potential for transmitting communication in a secure manner.

Today, the USAF and the DoD has awarded a contract to blockchain firm Fluree to develop a blockchain-based communication platform. Fluree is to bring commercial best-in-class technologies to the Air Force and the DoD.

Founded in 2016, Fluree is a provider of a blockchain-backed data platform. Fluree is working with Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research AFWERX technology innovation program to launch a proof of concept of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) later this year. The ledger could include intelligence gathered during military operations and supply chain parts tracking.

Fluree said that its data management platform was selected to provide the USAF with “secure, worldwide command-and-control communications using an encrypted, distributed, blockchain-backed graph database shared between partners.”

“Fluree is effectively a database. We call it a data management platform because it also plays the role of an application server in certain contexts. It also even allows you to embed data into Web apps so you can quickly build them.” – Brian Platz, Fluree co-founder and co-CEO.

Gain Access Through a Private-public Key

Fluree ensures secure communications and data integrity by combining transactions into immutable time-stamped blocks and locking in each block via advanced cryptography. Its smart contract rules on the blockchain also allow the permissioned DLT to be configured to restrict the user that can view information according to their security clearance and project involvement. Hence, users who are authorised on the blockchain gain access through a private-public key infrastructure.

The DLT platform also allows certain features to be turned on or off, such as full decentralisation with Byzantine Fault Tolerance or a plain database without cryptography for use in internal project or app development, Platz said.

Fluree’s platform, FlureeDB, was selected because like all blockchains, it’s peer-to-peer architecture is highly scalable, uses data encryption, offers semantic data standard formatting and data stored on it that is immutable.

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