Blockchain tech may reduce nuclear risks: report

Centre for Science and Security Studies, which is the research wing at King’s College London published a report on 2 November that outlined attributes of blockchain technology and how it could enhance trust between nations fighting to dismantle nuclear warheads, “in a safe” and “reliable” way. According to the arguments set forth in the report, blockchain technology could reduce the risks of potential wars. The new study, which is titled, The Trust Machine: Blockchain in Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control Verification, has also found that blockchain technology: 

[It] creates new opportunities to build trust among parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by advancing cooperation on nuclear disarmament and arms control verification.

The report is intended for analysts and policymakers who are curious about how such technologies like the blockchain could reduce nuclear risks. 

To date, nuclear weapons have been used twice in warfare during World War II as well as in several nuclear tests which nations keep conducting. In fact, according to United Nations, disarmament of such weapons has been a challenging task.

Recent reports even warned that the current administration in the US has caused a “great power competition” among other nations, leading to a buildup of a full-blown nuclear arms race. In addition to this a leading researcher of the CSSS report, Dr. Lyndon Burford, said

Countries around the world face the critical policy challenge of reducing nuclear risks, and cooperative disarmament and arms control measures can help with that task.

However, he believed that governments lacked sufficient trust in each other due to strategic and legal concerns not to reveal sensitive information.

Dr. Burford also pointed out that if blockchain technology was implemented as a possible solution to the nuclear weapons’ predicament, DLT involved could even help enhance trust among nations that signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by advancing cooperation on nuclear disarmament and arms control verification.

The ‘Trust Machine’ further recommended that blockchain technology could create an immutable, encrypted record of chain-of-custody for treaty-accountable items. It could also provide real-time monitoring at remote sites and automatically alert participants to potential treaty violations – as is the blockchain tech’s primary functionality. 

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