China’s official army newspaper says military should adopt blockchain tech; reward soldiers in tokens

The Chinese military should use blockchain technology to improve operations and reward soldiers in tokens, according to the country's official army newspaper PLA Daily.

In an op-ed published last week, PLA (People's Liberation Army) Daily, said that blockchain could be used to store military personnel data such as basic information, career path, and missions undertaken. Some of this data can then be used to reward soldiers for performance assessments, according to the newspaper.

The token reward system should be based on criteria such as training, specialty skills, task completion and others, it said, adding: “To award or deduct tokens according to one’s daily performance and thus generate an objective assessment would effectively energise the human resource management.”

Such a system could be a more immediate incentive, according to an anonymous expert familiar with administrative work in the PLA. “It sounds similar to a KPI [key performance indicator] system that will give feedback to the troops very frequently," the expert said, noting that the PLA might still need to figure out what the rewards might be.

PLA Daily also suggested exploring other use cases of blockchain in the military, including storing military secrets with higher-level encryption to improve information security.

Ever since China’s President Xi Jinping publicly supported blockchain in October, government authorities, corporates and state media have been going gung-ho about the technology and its use cases. Earlier this month, government authorities in Shanghai, along with China’s central bank and other banks, formed a blockchain alliance to improve trade finance operations. China is also almost ready to launch its national digital currency after five years of research and development.