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DARPA observes the "least explored" streets of the blockchain – GCN

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DARPA observes "less explored roads" of blockchain

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to better manage the so-called "distributed consent protocols" behind blockchain to see how they can improve security, archiving and IT in the Department of Defense.

In a November 19 information request, DARPA said it would like feedback on three "less explored" avenues of technology that could inform a future program:

Incentive participation without money. While Bitcoin miners are paid for their work by verifying transaction accuracy, DARPA is interested in ways to analyze participants' contributions and rather reward them with something of value besides the currency.

Security models based on economy. The research agency wants to deepen the approaches that support the idea that the participants – like the Bitcoin miners – work to make money (an economic notion), rather than for the honest or harmful reasons that the computer literature will subscribe traditionally to the participants.

Centralized aspects. Although consensus protocols operate as large-scale distributed systems, there may be some centralized aspects – such as code bases, network topologies, or developer pools – that could affect the security of the entire system.

The answers are due on December 20th. DARPA intends to hold a seminar in mid-February 2019 based on the responses to this solicitation.

Read the full RFI here.

About the author

Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.

During a career in technology media, Miller worked in editorial, print production and online, starting from IDW ComputerWorld's desk, moving to the Federal Computer Week press production and later helping launch and delivery websites. newsletter for FCW. After a breakthrough at the Center for Innovative Technology in Virginia, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she returned to what would become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all government websites. Miller returned to the editorial in 2012 when he started working with GCN.

Miller holds a BA from West Chester University and a master's degree in English from the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan to smiller@gcn.com or @sjaymiller.

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