Blockchain for the next US decennial census? Perhaps.

Blockchain for the next US decennial census? Perhaps.

As reported by Fedscoop, the United States Census Bureau, which is the key agency for the country’s statistical framework, is testing blockchain technology for an upcoming decennial census.

During a hearing on the 2020 census on Wednesday, Rep. Stephen Lynch [D-MA-08], a senior member of the House Oversight Committee, disclosed a keen interest in examining the use of blockchain for the census.

Lynch asked:

Are we looking at anything like that where we can use a more secure system, a distributed system, one that is less vulnerable in terms of where the census is going?

Knowing that the technology can be deployed extensively on databases and registries in countries, Lynch showed interest in ordering the Census Bureau to examine “blockchain viability within the census,” however, he put forward that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) should “take initiative” on such work.

In response, Nick Marinos, GAO director for IT and cybersecurity, noted that he wasn’t aware that Blockchain was being examined for the 2020 census. Thus, it “may be an option for the bureau to consider” in the next decade (2030).

Per another report by GAO detailing the readiness for upcoming census operations, the United States 2020 census will be conducted on 52 new or legacy IT systems. 

Although the bureau has been able to deliver most of the operating systems to date, however, Marinos said it is facing “schedule risks” for five out of the 11 remaining deliveries, which includes the system for internet self-response.

However, the director of the Census Bureau, Steven Dillingham, maintained that the remaining systems are on schedule and that they will be delivered as needed. 

The interest expressed by the United States authorities to use blockchain for the next census further backs the report that the country is waking up to blockchain adoption.

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