US Government Endorses Blockchain With $800,000 Award To Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Researchers

  • Researcher and software architect Subhashini Sivagnanam has received over $800,000 from the US government-backed National Science Foundation (NSF).
  • The funds will be used to help develop the Open Science Chain (OSC) project, a distributed ledger technology (DLT) based system for efficienctly managing data from scientific experiments. 

Subhashini Sivagnanam, a software architect and developer of the Neuroscience Gateway (NSG), has reportedly received $818,433 from the US National Science Foundation (NSF), in order to help fund the development of the Open Science Chain (OSC) project.

According to the award letter, the research funding will start on September 1st, 2018 and will continue until August 31st, 2021.

The NSF website noted that the OSC will be implemented using distributed ledger technology (DLT) and will allow researchers to work efficiently with data obtained from various scientific experiments and lab studies.

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) For Scientific Data

Public records state that the OSC project will aim to create 

"a web-based cyberinfrastructure platform built using distributed ledger technologies that allows researchers to provide metadata and verification information about their scientific datasets and update this information as the datasets change and evolve over time in an auditable manner."

National Science Foundation

Notably, the NSF is one of the world’s leading scientific research centers and has helped launch several US government-backed projects and studies. In July 2017, a researcher at Princeton University received over $400,000 from the US government to help fund his study on the application of mechanism incentives to blockchain-based digital currencies.

Improving Cyber-Infrastrucure

Earlier in January, 2017, the NSF announced its plans to help fund projects related to exploring the use of blockchain technology in improving cyber-infrastructure. The foundation had been looking to fund up to nine different projects, with each project receiving approximately $1 million from the federal government.

In its March, 2017 program solicitation called Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure, the NSF noted,

"With the growing amount of remote instruments and the increasing amount of data being collected from multiple, often remote, wireless and mobile sensors, science is increasingly distributed and virtual. Solutions such as the introduction of blockchain technology are needed to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data as it traverses multiple environments such as mobile, cloud, campus, and Internet networks."

National Science Foundation

In 2015, the research foundation had awarded about $3 million in funding for a cryptocurrency-related research study carried out by a group of scientists from University of California Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Maryland.

JPMorgan: Surging Gold Prices Reflect Lack of Confidence in Central Bank Currencies

Michael LaVere
  • JPMorgan analysts claim gold's rising price is indicative of a lack of confidence in central bank-backed currencies.
  • The report says the economic crisis has generated long-term concern over inflation and fiscal responsibility throughout the world.

JPMorgan analysts claim the recent surge in gold prices indicates an erosion in confidence for central bank-backed fiat currencies. 

According to a Weekly Asset View report authored by John Normand, head of cross-asset fundamental strategy at JPMorgan Chase, investors are raising concerns over the lack of rate differentials for the world’s major reserve currencies, including the USD, EUR, and JPY. 

Normand's team writes that lack of dispersion amongst reserve currencies on the global market should not be “misread as investor comfort with these reserve assets in an era of record budget deficits from high starting levels of indebtedness.”

The report continues, saying the economic crisis has generated long-term concern for “sovereign risk” in Europe and “inflation or fiscal responsibility” throughout the rest of the world. 

The report notes the surge in gold prices since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is an indication of a lack of investor confidence in fiat currencies. While the JPMorgan analysts caution that the move to gold should not be interpreted as a “dollar crisis” in response to loose Federal Reserve policies, it does give an indication of global sentiment towards fiscal policy. 

The report concludes, 

Instead, take this Gold move as a sign of eroding confidence in central bank-generated money generally, a trend that will probably continue until enough growth returns to put fiscal policy on a more efficient path.

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