Blockchain technology could accelerate nuclear disarmament

The Center for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) at King’s College London is researching an “apolitical” solution to addressing nuclear disarmament problems.

On November 2, 2020, the Center for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) at King’s College London published a new studycalled „The Trust Machine“. This dealt with the potential benefits of blockchain technology in the safe dismantling of nuclear warheads.

CSSS research associate Dr. Lyndon Burford said:

Countries around the world face the critical political challenge of reducing nuclear risks, and cooperative disarmament and arms control operations can help with this task. However, governments often lack sufficient trust in one another to cooperate on such actions, partly due to strategic and legal concerns about not disclosing sensitive information.

The study also states that the multilateral nuclear order, which was consolidated under the United Nations Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has often faced problems. These made themselves felt between nuclear weapon owners and non-nuclear weapon owners.

The latter only have the task of developing procedures in the NPT that are intended to help optimize the multilateral disarmament review. However, the technical means for this are often said to have been rather limited in the past.

Researchers are convinced of blockchain technology

With a blockchain, it is now possible to jointly manage encrypted data without central authority. The study also looks at smart contracts . These could be used to perform real-time verification. The breach of contract by one of the parties would result in an automatic notification:

Blockchain could serve as a cryptographic instrument of transfer for national declarations in disarmament processes. The parties would be able to gradually disclose sensitive data in parallel to political and strategic developments.

The study’s researchers are convinced of their idea. However, the introduction of a blockchain depends on the respective political goals of the individual nations.