Chapter Events

Monthly Luncheon

“Costing Blockchains” – RSVP Online
DATE: Wednesday, November 7, 2018
TIME: 11:30am to 1:00pm
LOCATION: The MITRE Corporation 7515 Colshire Drive (MITRE-2) McLean, VA  22102

SPEAKER: Harvey Reed (MITRE)

Blockchain technology first appeared in 2009 in the form of an open source Bitcoin project. The very first purchase was for two large pizzas from a pizza shop in Jacksonville FL, for the low price of 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC). Fast forward to today, and each BTC is valued at over $6,000 USD.

Bitcoin’s value is based on its ability to send and receive BTC across the planet in a trusted manner. The trust emerges from the decentralized Bitcoin network whose blockchain nodes cooperate with each other to validate transactions, group them in new blocks, then arrive at consensus to write the new blocks to the blockchain, replicated across all nodes. Blockchain provides, for the first time in human history, a means to create a digital artifact (e.g. validated transaction to send/receive Bitcoin) which can never be copied, counterfeited, or destroyed, not even by nation states.

Blockchain technology has been extended from the initial Bitcoin implementation, to variants in both public (cryptocurrency) and permissioned (general purpose) types. Commercial and government use cases currently enlist permissioned blockchains, which support general purpose transactions. These use cases require their own new instance of a permissioned blockchain network for use by their stakeholder partners (e.g. Wal-Mart Global Food Safety Network), then grow and operate the network. New instances of a permissioned blockchain in a federal government context will require use of federal acquisition and costing processes.

This briefing reviews blockchain basics (e.g. technology foundation, standup a permissioned blockchain, operate blockchain), followed by a survey of cost elements, cost drivers, and cost questions. The briefing is intended as an introduction for an acquisition and cost audience. Blockchain technology is still emerging, and the state of blockchain standards and practices is nascent and rapidly evolving.

Third Wednesday of the Month. Keep an eye on your email inbox for invitations.

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