Blockchain technology is a revolutionary advent which has opened the door for a return to peer-to-peer transacting after decades of centralized control. In fact, besides the most well known use of the blockchain through the crypto-currency called Bitcoin, banks such as J.P. Morgan are coordinating with a former employee (Blythe Masters) to help expand the digital construct into applications which could be used in the financial sector.
But the blockchain also has attributes that go far beyond just banking, and one agency is now looking at the technology to help them with their own business model, even going so far as investigating whether a unique crypto-currency could be feasible for use by the U.S. Postal Service.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has published a report looking at ways it could use blockchain, the technology that underpins bitcoin, to improve its services with connected supply chains, smart device networks and even its own digital currency.
The report, entitled “Blockchain Technology: Possibilities for the U.S. Postal Service,” was carried out by Swiss Economics, a consulting firm with expertise in blockchain technology. The report concludes: “The Postal Service could benefit from blockchain technology in the short term by studying the technology and possibly experimenting with blockchain-based solutions for financial services.”
The authors of the report say that using blockchain technology could help the postal service in four areas: identity management; supply chain management; device management; and financial services. It is in the area of financial services where blockchain has seen the most interest since it was first deployed as the mechanism for verifying and recording bitcoin transactions.
According to the report, the USPS could develop its own version of bitcoin, dubbed Postcoin, which would help expand and increase the efficiency of the money exchange service which it already offers. The USPS could choose to join an existing public blockchain or create its own blockchain from scratch, which would have the added benefit of allowing greater control over the service’s features. – IB TImes
Of all the businesses and government agencies within the U.S., the Postal Service is one of the most critical in needing to overhaul its antiquated processes. For decades now, the agency has hemorrhaged money, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars, and often has to be subsidized by the taxpayers simply to facilitate the delivery of mail to peoples all across the country.
Last year, a proposal was made to have postal offices become local banks to try to create new income streams as their core business shrinks due to innovations such as email and online banking. And in the end something does need to change since it is unlikely the service will never truly go away since it is mandated under the Constitution as a vital and necessary office to the people and government of the United States.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.com, Examiner.com,Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.