Blockchain Could Help Reduce Nuclear War Risks: Report

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The King’s College London’s research arm, the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), has published a report arguing that blockchain technology can enhance the trust between countries fighting to dismantle nuclear warheads, thus reducing the risks of potential wars.

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Ever since their emergence during World War II, nuclear weapons have been a global threat to the human species. The United Nations have classified them as “the most dangerous weapons on earth.”

Despite several world organizations working on eliminating them, the Washington Post recently asserted that the threat of a nuclear war has only increased in the past four years – since US President Donald Trump entered office.

Dr. Lyndon Burford, the CSSS report leading researcher, said that nations “face the critical policy challenge of reducing nuclear risks, and cooperative disarmament and arms control measures can help with that task.” However, he believes that governments lack sufficient trust in each other due to strategic and legal concerns not to reveal sensitive information.

Consequently, Dr. Burford singled out blockchain technology as a possible solution. The paper reads that if implemented, DLT can help verify the dismantlement of nuclear warheads in a “safe, secure, and reliable way.” This would enhance trust among nations signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by “advancing cooperation on nuclear disarmament and arms control verification.”

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The report highlighted that blockchain would enable authorized participants to “collectively manage encrypted data without a central authority.” This will make it “practically impossible” to tamper with the data stored on the networks secretly. As such, DLT will create a “technical foundation for cooperation among non-trusting parties, leading to its nickname ‘the trust machine.’”

Furthermore, the document brought out several other possible blockchain merits. Those include creating an “immutable, encrypted record of chain-of-custody for treaty-accountable items” and acting as an international confidence-building measure by allowing third parties to verify disarmament data without being able to see that data.

A blockchain-powered platform could also provide a secure base layer for a “private internet-of-things made up of location sensors and environmental monitors.” This would allow real-time monitoring at remote sites and automatically alerting participants to potential treaty violations.

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