Agencies, Firms Explore Applications for Blockchain Tech

Jim Gatto and Townsend Bourne — both executives at law firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton — have said many government and commercial organizations are exploring the potential of blockchain technology for performing tasks.

They wrote in a joint opinion piece published Wednesday the technology can help aerospace companies manage flight data, records on the deployment of components and supply chain.

The Department of Defense is looking at the possibility of using blockchain in 3D printing as part of efforts to increase data security and accelerate contractor payment transactions.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services embarked on a project that aims to cut the number of hours spent on administrative task processing and simplify the contract development process.

Blockchain is a method of keeping unalterable electronic records. Data is recorded in a list called a “block,” which is assigned a designation called a “hash value.” The hash value of a block is encoded in the next block, so unauthorized changes that hackers make to blocks can be detected, keeping an organization’s records intact.

Gatto is leader of blockchain technology and digital currency at Sheppard Mullin while Bourne serves as partner within its government contracts, investigations and international trade practice.

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