Press Release

Stimson Center Launches New Program on Real-World Uses of Blockchain for International Security

  • February 4, 2020
  • 3:41 pm


January 9, 2020


Caiti Goodman

[email protected]


Testing Leading-Edge Technologies to Tackle Proliferation Challenges

Washington, DC – Today the Stimson Center launched a new program, Blockchain in Practice, to explore the application of distributed ledger technology (DLT) to address international security challenges. The program, led by Senior Fellow and Director Cindy Vestergaard, will test the potential for DLT platforms to increase efficiency, trust, and transparency in the management of safeguards information, nuclear security, dual-use chemicals, and export controls. Most existing security regimes face a common challenge of ensuring the integrity of data, information flows and data traceability in an era when technology is rapidly evolving alongside emerging threats.

In March, the new program will publicly demonstrate the world’s first blockchain-based prototype for nuclear material accounting and control. The demonstration will be hosted in Helsinki with STUK, Finland’s nuclear regulator and partners from the University of New South Wales.

The Blockchain in Practice program is among the first to engage with international nonproliferation and disarmament organizations, national authorities, and private technology companies on the potential application of DLT to strengthen the international security regimes. DLT has the potential to detect diversion, unauthorized access, loss or theft of dual-use materials and technology, and increase trust between various parties in high level security fields.

More on the Blockchain in Practice program:

Cindy Vestergaard, Director of the Blockchain in Practice program, said, “We are turning good ideas about blockchain into real-world tools. Blockchain in Practice is at the forefront of an emerging field and we are excited to engage policymakers and technologists alike to address the challenge of information security and management across a variety of international security regimes.”

Brian Finlay, President and CEO of the Stimson Center, said, “This program is the epitome of what the Stimson Center has built its reputation on – translating big ideas into the real world.  Blockchain in Practice is using innovative technologies, stakeholder engagement, independent analysis and applied research to promote a more secure world.”

Cindy Vestergaard is the Senior Fellow and Director of the Nuclear Safeguards and Blockchain in Practice programs at the Stimson Center. Her current research focuses on the impact of evolving international safeguards obligations on states and facility operators. Prior to joining Stimson, Vestergaard worked on nonproliferation, arms control and disarmament policy and programming at Canada’s foreign ministry. Read full bio.

The Stimson Center promotes international security, shared prosperity, and justice through applied research and independent analysis, deep engagement, and policy innovation. More at

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