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Executive Summary

Table of Contents Blockchain
Technology:
Observations Possibilities
for the U.S.
Appendices Postal Service

RARC Report

Report Number
RARC-WP-16-011

May 23, 2016

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Executive Summary

Table of Contents Executive Blockchain technology allows peers to exchange money directly Highlights
Summary without the need for a traditional financial intermediary, lowering
Observations the cost and increasing the speed of transactions. However, it is Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt
Blockchain Technology: proving to be much more than a way to transfer monetary value. services that traditionally require intermediaries.
Possibilities for the U.S.Postal Service At its core, blockchain technology is a way to transfer any kind of
Report Number RARC-WP-16-011 information in a fast, tracked, and secure way. Originally created to transfer financial value,
specifically within the context of the peer-to-peer
The technology is only in the early stages of development and currency known as Bitcoin, blockchain is now viewed
it is hard to recognize its full potential at this formative stage. as having the potential to be an efficient and secure
However, developers are beginning to explore blockchain way to transfer any kind of information.
solutions outside of financial services. These new applications
include property transfers, the execution of contracts, Mainstream banks, governments, and other
authentication services, network and device management, and companies are starting to experiment with how
records management. they can use blockchain technology in financial
applications and in new application areas such as
Despite their novelty, blockchain applications are gaining property transfers, authentication services, and
mainstream traction. Major banks, such as Citibank and records management.
JPMorgan Chase, and government entities, such as the U.K. and
Estonian governments and Australia Post, are experimenting Because blockchain technology may disrupt areas
with how blockchain technology can help them keep better in which the Postal Service currently does business,
records and provide services that are more efficient. The Postal it may be wise to begin studying its impact and
Service could likewise stand to benefit from monitoring and experimenting with its future possibilities.
experimenting with this technology.
Appendices
The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) This paper proposes that blockchain technology could impact
contracted with Swiss Economics, a consulting firm with interest the Postal Service’s business in several ways. For example,
and expertise in blockchain technology, to better understand the blockchain is already disrupting the global financial services
technology and its features, as well as identify areas of potential industry — an industry the Postal Service is involved in through
interest for the Postal Service. services such as money orders and international money

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Executive Summary transfers. Additionally blockchain is an enabling technology improved financial services such as money transfers. The
that could allow the Postal Service to improve its operations platform could allow the Postal Service to streamline the
Table of Contents and expand its services through emerging applications such back-end of this current service, making the service faster and
as identity management and supply chain management. This cheaper for both the Postal Service and its customers. It could
paper takes an exploratory look at the technology and suggests also be especially useful for international money transfers due
that it may be wise for the Postal Service to en


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