Cybersecurity infrastructure is taking a leap forward with the support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research unit of the U.S. Department of Defense (that helped create the internet, among other things). In September, DARPA paved the way for government use of blockchain technology.
The agency has funded a handful of startups to develop blockchain uses for secure communications, and perhaps more, from weapons systems to file storage. While many have seen the banking industry as an early adopter of this technology and the heftiest of spenders, there is an expectation that billions of dollars will flow into the blockchain market over the next five years from other sources as well, with banks acting as the entry point in creating a degree of legitimacy.
DARPA awarded a $1.8 million contract to a computer security firm called Galois. The firm’s assignment is to formally verify – through a sort of computer-code audit using mathematics – a particular type of blockchain technology supplied by a company called Guardtime. Formal verification is one way to build nearly unhackable code and it’s a big part of DARPA’s approach to security.