An advisory committee to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is looking into the applicability of the blockchain and how it can be used within the agency.
According to a published report, the working group was established by the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) in September. It was initially set up by the COAC and the Customs and Border Protection to determine issues relating to new technologies or the advancement of existing technologies, which will have an impact on trade.
The report suggests that the working group will be looking into the applicability of the blockchain on trade processing. An educational day provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the distributed ledger and how it’s being used has already taken place. As has an identification day on the practical use cases that can be explored further.
The report said:
The group came up with 14 proposed use cases. They included ideas such as capturing and keeping track of partnering government agencies licenses, permits, certificate of origin reporting and free trade agreement product qualifications, carnets and bonded movement tracking.
It adds that the group is now looking into the cases and determining the workflow processes to see how it would be used with the blockchain.
It remains to be seen what results will be found and whether the technology will be employed within the agency. The technology has already been used within a number of U.S. departments indicating the perceived potential it has.
The United Nations is one such organisation that is turning to the blockchain. So much so, that two UN agencies have partnered with the World Identity Network (WIN) to launch a blockchain pilot to help combat child trafficking around the world. It’s hoped that by securing the identification of children on the distributed ledger they will be less likely to fall into the hands of human traffickers.
In March, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) was reported as using the Ethereum blockchain to distribute cash assistance to the world’s hungriest families. The aim was to highlight that the technology can be used to send aid to people who need it the most quickly and safely.
These are just a few of the use cases that the technology is being used in. However, it shows the impact the technology can have and the improvements it can bring with its transparency and immutability.
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