Harnessing Blockchain for American Business and Prosperity
November 1, 2018
Blockchain is a game-changing technology that has the power to unleash a new era in supply chain management and communication. In this report, the CSIS Scholl Chair reviews how blockchain can be used to solve complex business problems across various sectors and areas of life, assesses myths and challenges surrounding blockchain, and discusses what the U.S. government’s policy should be regarding blockchain. Blockchain enables interactions among anonymous users without central authority, using tamper-evident data on those interactions that are visible to all users in real time. It is particularly useful in the many settings where there are large networks of players, high intermediation costs, significant informational asymmetries among the players, and concerns about fraud and veracity of data. This paper does not focus on Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies enabled by blockchain; rather, the focus here is primarily on enterprise blockchains—blockchain applications operated by a company or an organization for a specific community of users. This paper uses the term “blockchain” loosely to refer to a family of distributed ledger technologies.
Kati Suominen is an adjunct fellow with the CSIS Europe Program