The U.S. Air Force Plans To Trial Blockchain-Based Graph Database
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) is intending to test a blockchain-based graph database that will enable it to bestow documents internally as well as throughout the multiple branches of the Department of Defense and allied governments.
The permissioned blockchain ledger begins from a small Winston-Salem, Fluree PBC, N.C. start-up, which declared the government contract this week. Fluree is running with Air Force’s Small Business Innovation Research AFWERX technology innovation program to launch a proof of concept of the DLT later this year.
The ledger could involve intelligence gathered during military operations and supply chain parts tracking.
“Fluree is effectively a database. We call it a data management platform because it also plays the role of an application server in certain contexts,” stated Brian Platz, Fluree co-founder, and co-CEO. “It also even allows you to embed data into Web apps so you can quickly build them.”
Fluree assures safe communications and data integrity by linking transactions into immutable time-stamped blocks and securing in each block through advanced cryptography. Users who are approved on the blockchain gain access by a crucial private-public infrastructure.
The DLT platform also enables some features to be turned on or off, such as complete decentralization with Byzantine Fault Tolerance or a plain database without cryptography for utilizing in internal project or app development, Platz stated.
The USAF needs interoperability for its units across the world; the platform can also explore and ingest data from existing legacy systems and data stored on third-party Wikis by the application of the SPARQL query language and the Resource Description Framework (RDF) for data interchange standard.
The USAF refused to answer questions about the project.
Fluree’s platform, FlureeDB, was elected because, like all blockchains, it’s P2P architecture is hugely scalable, offers semantic data standard formatting, utilizes data encryption, and data stored on it that is immutable.
“We’re trying to allow blockchain-backed security to power an entire application, which you really can’t do today unless the app is trivial or it’s a cryptocurrency,” Platz said. “Anyone using blockchain in the enterprise is building a traditional application, and then some part of that is hooking into Ethereum or some blockchain platform like that.”
Smart contract rules on the blockchain also provide the permissioned DLT to be configured to limit who can view data according to their security clearance and project involvement.
The USAF would not be the first government agency to regard blockchain. The DoD has been examining it for logistics management and supply chain, and the Federal Reserve is considering it for a real-time payment service, according to Avivah Litan, a vice president of research at Gartner.
The U.S. government is leading other sectors, such as healthcare, in testing blockchain, Litan stated. “I’ve seen a few use cases,” she said. “They’re not the slowest sector.”
“Fluree has a pretty clever structure,” Litan stated. “It’s an intriguing use case for intelligence sharing because it’s cryptographically secured and immutable so that no one can change it. You’re always worried about an enemy or insider intercept. You still have to worry about bad actors getting a hold of someone’s account and writing data that way, but it’s still harder than it is with conventional systems.”