Could blockchain have ended the Cold War earlier? Would George W Bush have opted for the blockchain option rather than the invasion of Iraq to find the famous WMD?
Blockchain is making its way into international politics by offering a technical solution to fight against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Blockchain signs NPT
Researchers from Center for Science and Security Studies of King’s College of London propose turning to blockchain to tackle the problem of nuclear disarmament.
They indicate that the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) constantly encounters problems of international cooperation, the origin of which is the asymmetry between the nuclear-weapon States and the non-nuclear-weapon States (NNWS).
For the NNWS, the contribution is limited to the design of multilateral disarmament verification tools. However, the technical shortcomings of these countries limit their capacities, compromising this verification process.
The other difficulty in monitoring the application of the NPT lies in the lack of mutual trust between the parties to the treaty regarding the respect of their commitments, a mistrust preventing effective collaboration.
An ineffective technical sauce without interstate cooperation
The researchers recommend a technical and operational, rather than a political, approach to tackling the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
They argue that the blockchain could be an essential verification tool by providing an immutable encrypted record serving as a chain of custody – a chronological record detailing the places and dates of collection or receipt of evidence – for elements attributable to the treaty.
On the issue of trust, the use of blockchain allows third parties to control data integrity without accessing sensitive information.
The report also highlights the potential of smart contracts combined with algorithmic contracts to create a secure base layer for an Internet of Things infrastructure combining sensors and controllers.
This infrastructure can be deployed to perform real-time verifications at remote locations and alert affected parties to treaty violations.
The researchers admit, however, that the success of blockchain use will depend on the will of states and how the goals are pursued.
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The blockchain wants to bring peace to the world: it’s a cliché even during a Miss contest. Before tackling nuclear issues, blockchain could already serve as a reliable and secure database for gun registration in the United States: start small, before tackling the big fish.
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