An FCW seminar gathered federal government leaders to explore the potential for blockchain technology to provide increased security, efficiency and solutions for better government.

While attendees agreed blockchain technology has potential, their comments showed a mix of reservations, interest and reflection on the most practical ways to implement and benefit.

We gathered a collection of their comments to help other government leaders explore blockchain technology opportunities.

Blockchain way of thinking

Blockchain and distributed ledger technology provides a new way of thinking, for how you reconcile many sources of information in a way that is much more efficient.

Some leaders pointed to the advantages of better security because government depends on so many sources of information. This means better, more secure data such as managing identities, supply chains and records.

One speaker said agencies need to explore blockchain technology hands-on. Others cautioned about sharing high-security or mission-critical information at this early stage of the technology development.

Blockchain advances competitiveness

The group was told about a Chinese auto-parts manufacturer was investing $50 million in blockchain technology to upgrade their entire manufacturing, distribution and logistics chain. The efficiencies and ROI will only strengthen their advantage over other global competitors.

Participants concurred that the key challenge is blockchain’s subtlety. “When you invest in a new website, you see the website. You see the redesign,” one executive said. “With blockchain, when it works, people are just going to know their day went better. No one says, ‘Wow, that process really went well.’ That’s the added challenge: If it’s a great success, people won’t know they’re using blockchain.”

Leaders were cautioned about not making investments in blockchain technology and as a result falling farther behind other countries and having systems less secure, less efficient and less competitive.

Others said they were using blockchain already and expected to see more innovative applications and benefits from implementation of the technology.

You can read the full report at FCW.