A spat of bitcoin ransomware threats last year kept many US government agencies from holding public positions on blockchain.
That’s according to Debbie Bucci, a lead IT architect employed by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Bucci is now helping lead one of the few agency pushes into the technology with plans to forge new partnerships with firms in the private space.
Previously, fallout over concerns about a February ransomware attack, in which a US hospital had paid $17,000 worth of bitcoin to regain access to its computers, had sealed the lips of the many government employees afraid of being negatively associated with bitcoin and pretty much anything built on a blockchain.
However, Bucci, who works at the Office of Standards and Interoperability, said she and her peers at the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT had been exploring blockchain and felt they shouldn’t abandon their plans.
In conversation with CoinDesk earlier this month, the 15-year government veteran explained how she and a small group of like-minded colleagues were able to push through the fears holding back other agencies.
She told CoinDesk:
“We really couldn’t keep our heads in the sand, because we really knew what was coming on.”