In news that not many expected, the Pentagon recently announced that it is canceling its JEDI Cloud Contract with Microsoft due to the tech company’s failure to meet its requirements. To replace the contract, it will be entering into a new contract with Amazon and Microsoft.
Since the JEDI contract was awarded to Microsoft in 2019, controversy has trailed it. Amazon, which also wanted the contract back then, challenged the award to Microsoft, claiming it has political undertones. However, Amazon can now stop its legal battles as it finally gets a share of the contract.
According to the Pentagon, the decision to share the contract between Amazon and Microsoft was due to the evolution in the technological landscape, which makes it necessary for DoD to look for multiple vendors and start over. The new program will be called Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability. Amazon and Microsoft are not the only two contenders that could split the contract. Other big tech companies such as Google, Oracle, and IBM may qualify too. However, the likelihood of Google wanting in is limited given that it will have to share with other Big tech companies.
Why Not Try Blockchain? Others Have
Although the JEDI Cloud is already over, the Pentagon has the opportunity to pursue a new approach this time around by including start-up blockchain companies in the program. Already, blockchain companies have made inroads with various security departments and offices in the United States. In one case, the US Navy recently awarded a $1.5 million contract to SIMBA Chain, a blockchain company, for building an efficient blockchain domain to supply military weaponry.
TheUS Airforce also established an agreement with San Francisco-based blockchain technology establishment Constellation Network. The deal between both parties is to secure and consolidate data through the United States Air Force with its various data sources. With this deal, Constellation has been tasked with upgrading the US Airforce’s current capabilities, focusing on the agile interoperability of both legacy and prospective data varieties. It is a scalable and secure approach to big data processing while combining legacy system data with existing cloud infrastructure data.
Why Small Contractors Can Be Better Options
With the look of things, it is clear that different security outfits within the US have already started exploring the option of small blockchain start-ups. In addition, the Pentagon can also toe the line of the US Navy and Airforce by contracting its new cloud computing program to blockchain companies.
This will cost less money than what the Pentagon will have to spend on the contract with big tech companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. The Pentagon also gets to benefit from the cutting-edge innovations of blockchain technology and can contract smaller contractors. Here are some companies that the Pentagon might consider for blockchain-related services:
As mentioned above, Constellation already has gotten one successful contract under their belt with the United States government. The Pentagon generally ends up working with contractors more than once if the service is deemed satisfactory. As such, Constellation has been getting attention for its successful platform within the crypto media. While we may not be keen on the intricate details of its current partnership with the military, it would make sense to see Constellation continue providing its blockchain-based cybersecurity services to the Pentagon.
Bluzelle is a decentralized service provider that allows users to create on-demand, scalable databases for blockchain applications. It achieves security by storing uploaded data across clusters of nodes that are spread out. This way, it limits the risk of failure due to human interference, natural disasters, or security breaches at one point of the network. If the Pentagon decentralized its data, there is no doubt it’d become significantly harder, perhaps even near-impossible to breach.
One ironic yet not totally related note is that Bluzelle’s marketing fits in quite nicely with the militaristic theme as its ‘Swarm of Duty’ campaign draws inspiration from one of America’s favorite shooter video games.
The architecture behind this blockchain is cutting edge. It introduces a genuine state sharding scheme to achieve practical scalability, eliminate energy and computational waste and ensure distributed fairness through a Secure Proof of Stake (SPoS) consensus. Elrond Network is very secure and built to resist security threats like Sybil attack, Nothing at Stake attack, etc. it also has EVM smart contract capabilities, which ensures interoperability with other blockchains.
Parsiq is a blockchain monitoring and workflow automation platform. It connects on-chain and off-chain applications in real-time and provides transaction notifications for end-users. Users can connect blockchain activity to off-chain devices and apps, monitor and secure DeFi applications, build custom event triggers, and support real-time automation. In addition, Parsiq has tools for analyzing, detecting, and preventing fraud on the blockchain.
Zilliqa is the first transaction-sharding architecture that allows the mining network to process transactions parallel and reach a high throughput by dividing the mining network into shards. Specifically, its design allows a higher transaction rate as more nodes are joining the network. The key is to ensure that shards process different transactions with no overlaps and, therefore, no double-spending. Zilliqa uses pBFT.
Algorand proposes a public ledger that keeps the convenience and efficiency of centralized systems, eliminating the inefficiencies and weaknesses of current decentralized implementations. The leader and the set of verifiers are randomly chosen based on their signature applied to the last block’s quantity value. Thus, the selections are immune to manipulations and unpredictable until the last moment. The consensus relies on a novel message-passing Byzantine Agreement that enables the community and the protocol to evolve without hard forks.
Chainspace is a distributed ledger platform for high integrity and transparent processing of transactions. It uses language agnostic and privacy-friendly smart contracts for extensibility. The sharded architecture allows a linearly scalable transaction processing throughput using S-BAC, a novel distributed atomic commit protocol that guarantees consistency.
Omniledger proposes a novel scale-out distributed ledger that preserves long-term security under permissionless operation. It ensures security and correctness by using a bias-resistant public-randomness protocol for choosing large, statistically representative shards that process transactions. To commit transactions atomically across shards, Omniledger introduces Atomix, an efficient cross-shard commit protocol. The concept is a two-phase client-driven ”lock/unlock” protocol that ensures that nodes can either fully commit a transaction across shards or obtain “rejection proofs” to abort and unlock.
All these blockchain companies offer products and services that can be adopted for database and cloud computing. This makes them ideal for the Pentagon program should DoD decide to use small contractors.