The US Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Services has announced that it is piloting the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) to monitor the movement of physical assets like smartphones and computers. A yet-to-be-named contractor will be hired as a partner in developing the prototype system.

As part of the project, the Treasury will determine whether its physical assets can be tracked and reconciled in real-time as they are transferred from person to person. It will use Blockchain technology to make digital records of the transfers. The bureau will also study other possible use cases of the technology, particularly in the improvement of processes for the management of government finances.

According to Assistant Commissioner John Hill, they intend to identify the opportunities where technological innovations are used to improve efficiency, accountability, and customer service in government agencies.

"There are many exciting innovations coming out of the commercial sector that can be applied to federal financial management. I hope that these two pilot projects identify the opportunities where the innovations will have the most impact on efficiency, accountability and customer service."

Brief profile of the bureau

The Bureau of Fiscal Services was created through the merger of two separate agencies in 2012. Its main responsibility is to borrow money to finance the government and handle interagency payments and accounting.

Other US agencies testing Blockchain

Aside from the Bureau of Fiscal Services, there are already several US government agencies piloting Blockchain projects to improve or streamline their operations. One of these agencies is the General Services Administration (GSA), which trialed the use of the technology in reviewing information technology (IT)-related contract bids from vendors. Another agency is the State Department, which has launched a project to examine the potential of the technology in diplomatic applications.