India's Defense Minister Touts Blockchain, AI Role in Warfare

India's defense minister Rajnath Singh highlighted the potential use of blockchain technology in the defense industry on Monday.

AccessTimeIconNov 4, 2019 at 2:16 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:40 a.m. UTC
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India’s defense minister believes blockchain technology is the next step in contemporary warfare.

Speaking at an 80-nation plus envoy roundtable Monday before the country's DefExpo 2020 conference this coming February, defense minister Rajnath Singh said blockchain, artificial intelligence and big data are needed for next iteration of combat, according to The Times of India.

According to Singh :

“The role of AI, big data and blockchain technologies has already revolutionized the existing paradigm of warfighting. The defence industry is undergoing a churning to cope and employ these technologies, in order to safeguard the safety and security of critical infrastructure.”

As warfare shifts from air, land and sea engagements to cyberspace and space, Singh said countries need to develop these technologies.

The challenge now, he said, is "not just to prepare for contingencies but also to repel threats from multiple sources, and at the same time possess the ability to respond proactively if needed.”

India has expressed enthusiasm for blockchain in other areas too. The nations central bank indicated as far back as 2017 that it was looking into the development of a digital rupee. Later it was said to have developed a dedicated blockchain unit, a rumor it denied at the time.

Other nations are looking into blockchain as a tool to aid defense systems, including the U.S. Department of Defense which said this July it looking to develop a blockchain-based cybersecurity shield.

Tanks in New Delhi image via Shutterstock


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