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Professional Projects Technology

Blockchain and the Future of Federal Payments

Nearly a fifth of all federal spending ($800 billion) is disbursed through grants, yet recipients are subject to a multitude of systems, inconsistent data across various platforms, delayed payments, and onerous reporting requirements.
 
Innovations in distributed ledger technology and tokenization provide a new way forward in changing the financial relationship between the federal government and citizens.

In 2019, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) and the
National Science Foundation (NSF) began to develop a “smart grants”
application in response to requests by grants administrators at various
research universities to simplify the process for receiving and reporting
on federal grants. As a POC, the project used the blockchain tokenization feature to represent the attributes of a federal grant award. Because a token’s history can be traced, it increases transparency along the path of federal funds to make reporting easier. Currently, when prime grant recipients transfer funds to sub-recipients, awarding agencies are unable to see the sub-grants.

About The Author

Chetan Hebbale is currently a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. focused on international economics, climate change, and sustainability.

Prior to this, he spent over 4 years at Deloitte Consulting working on technology and strategy projects at the CDC and U.S. Treasury Department.

He is a native of Atlanta, GA and attended the University of Georgia.

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