US Republican Tables Bill Directing Customs and Border Protection to Adopt blockchain

Rep. Nancy Mace, representing South Carolina, is unveiling a new legislative proposal on Tuesday, calling for the mandatory implementation of a blockchain system by the Secretary of Homeland Security at the United States border.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Rep. Byron Donalds from Florida is co-sponsoring the bill alongside Rep. Mace.

The proposed legislation aims to leverage blockchain technology for various activities conducted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), particularly in the realm of goods tracking and management at the border.

Blockchain, renowned for its distributed ledger architecture and cryptographic security measures, presents a novel approach to data and transaction validation. Notably, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has initiated exploratory research into the potential applications of this technology.

A proof of concept conducted by CBP in 2020 explored the utility of blockchain in safeguarding intellectual property rights pertaining to American imports. This involved establishing a secure data exchange mechanism between CBP and stakeholders such as manufacturers, retailers, rights holders, and importers, thereby minimizing the need for physical inspections.

Rep. Mace underscored the promising outcomes of CBP’s preliminary initiatives with blockchain, emphasizing the potential to revolutionize border operations. The proposed legislation aims to build upon these early successes, establishing a robust and secure infrastructure to address challenges at the southern border comprehensively.

The legislation put forth by Rep. Mace mandates the establishment of a public blockchain platform by CBP for border security operations. This platform would serve as a repository for critical data including biometrics, visa information, and customs documentation.

CBP would utilize this platform to verify travel and identity documents, enhance goods tracking during customs processes, optimize deployment of border control personnel, and facilitate real-time data sharing across pertinent agencies.

DHS has identified a multitude of use cases for blockchain technology, ranging from digital issuance of paper-based credentials to creating tamper-proof records and audits that are verifiable by the public.

In a bid to modernize trade processing operations, CBP expressed interest last year in exploring distributed ledger technology. Among the cited benefits are the concurrent access, validation, and updating of transactions, thereby enhancing operational efficiency.

Under the proposed legislation, CBP would be tasked with establishing an oversight mechanism for the blockchain infrastructure. Additionally, DHS would be obligated to furnish regular reports to Congress regarding the implementation and efficacy of the platform.

The introduction of this legislative proposal marks a significant step towards embracing cutting-edge technology to fortify border security measures, signaling a potential paradigm shift in border management practices.

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