Technology Assessment: Blockchain, Emerging Technology Offers Benefits for Some Applications but Faces Challenges, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 6MB]

From the Document: "Economies rely on central authorities and trusted intermediaries to facilitate business transactions. Blockchain is a technology that could reduce the need for such entities while establishing a system of verification. It might therefore improve a variety of financial and non-financial applications. However, the use of blockchain technologies raises a variety of ethical, legal, economic, and social concerns. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to conduct a technology assessment on the use of blockchain, with an emphasis on foresight and policy implications. This report discusses (1) non-financial applications of blockchain, including potential benefits and challenges, (2) financial applications of blockchain, including potential benefits and challenges, and (3) policy options that could help enhance benefits or mitigate challenges of blockchain technologies. GAO assessed blockchain applications developed for or used in finance, government, supply chain management, and organization management; interviewed a range of stakeholder groups including government, industry, academia, and a venture capital firm; convened a meeting of experts in collaboration with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and reviewed key reports and scientific literature. GAO is identifying policy options in this report."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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