You’d expect the likes of Nasdaq and Goldman Sachs to already be part way to adopting digital currency. But the US Postal Service is also eyeing the technology, known as the blockchain, as a way to reinforce its supply chains and grow its share of the financial services market.
The blockchain differs from the traditional banking record in that all financial transaction data are contained in a distributed ledger. This removes the centre of power from individual banks, and vastly increases security as multiple copies of a ledger where one entry depends on another (the “chain” in the blockchain) cannot be interfered with after they are filed.
According to CoinDesk, the Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report that says ‘PostCoin’–either adopted from an established cryptocurrency or created by the government agency itself–could be used by customers to send international money transfers to a far larger number of places than its currently limited scope.
Blockchain technology could even be connected to pieces of mail for supply chain management, for “timely sharing of information and processing of payments”: while the report acknowledges that it may be somewhat impractical to attach a unique sensor to every single item of mail, the USPS could use its size to encourage adoption.
Randy Miskanic, the US Postal Service’s Chief Information Security Officer and VP of Digital Solutions, is urging caution because of security and regulatory uncertainty. This means there might not be a PostCoin particularly soon.
“We will evaluate the use of blockchain for each of the use cases and further review the available opportunities while considering the impact of the technology and financial restrictions,” he says.
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