Chinese soldiers could be rewarded in cryptocurrency tokens for good performance if the country’s armed forces embrace blockchain technology, a military newspaper has suggested.
Applying the technology to managing the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would drive innovation, the military mouthpiece PLA Daily said on Tuesday.
The article suggested establishing a digital currency token reward system for staff performance assessments based on criteria such as training, speciality skills, task completion and others.
“To award or deduct tokens according to one’s daily performance and thus generate an objective assessment would effectively energise the human resource management,” it said.
This came a few weeks after President Xi Jinping spoke about blockchain, which stirred a market surge for cryptocurrencies and related company shares.
In a group study session on blockchain with other top Communist Party leaders, Xi called for faster development of the technology and more investment in it.
“More efforts should be made to strengthen basic research and boost innovation capacity to help China gain an edge in theories, innovation and industries of the emerging field,” Xi said.
Government departments have already responded by exploring possible applications, such as in anti-corruption measures.
Blockchain is a system of decentralised encrypted digital ledgers that should be unalterable by design, making them impossible to copy.
The chain grows through each new transaction recorded, with records of previous transactions kept for verification. Its characteristics could make it suitable for use wherever tracking records and trustworthiness is required.
“Blockchain technology solved the problem of traditional digital data being vulnerable to tampering or hacking and lack of credibility,” the PLA Daily article said.
The article listed other possible ways to make full use of such advantages. For instance, it suggested that classified military secrets could be stored using embedded blockchains with higher-level encryption, so that they could be distributed but not copied, greatly improving information security.
Another example it suggested was an electronic shooting range that detects markings on a target automatically and generates blockchain records of each trainee, “in order to maximise the authenticity of training results”.
“It provides a technological guarantee to clean and open training and examination,” it said.
Just as the civilian logistics industry has adopted blockchain to trace and track food supply chains from farms to shops, the PLA could use the technology of immutable records in its military logistics and supply management, the article suggested.
A decentralised interaction model could smooth interdepartmental cooperation within the military and in human resource management, while blockchain could also be applied in the storage of personal data, the article said.