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Distributed Ledger (OT)

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Program director

Anna Brady-Estevez headshot

Anna Brady-Estevez

Pre-submission feedback

Submit an Executive Summary to gauge if a project meets the program's intellectual merit and commercial impact criteria. Please note that responsiveness will likely be limited in the 2 weeks leading up to the solicitation deadline.

Technology topic

Distributed Ledger (OT)

The Distributed Ledger (OT) topic area covers a wide range of technology areas of current and emerging commercial significance and impact spanning all areas of distributed ledger including blockchains, Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs), and related capabilities (cryptography, smart contracts etc.). Applications of these technologies and approaches across any range of industries and commercial uses are appropriate for this topic area. It is important that the proposed project involve novel, distinctive approaches and/or disruptive innovations that enable high potential impact and competitive advantage in their field of use. Proposals that address significant pain points and opportunities are solicited; examples include but are not limited to: enhancements to speed, scalability, efficiency, improved functionalities/capabilities, enhanced security, consensus, immutability, information and identity validation, trusted data/inputs, digital privacy, artificial intelligence (AI) applications, internet of things (IoT) integration, autonomous systems / economies, and improvements to enhance user adoption. Platform technologies and enablers for this field are also welcome. Companies should be sure to address whether there are differentiated technical elements, intellectual property or other competitive barriers that will allow the company, once NSF funded, to defend against potential “fast followers” in this space. The proposal should clearly identify the competitive landscape of what is currently possible, and why the proposed innovation will have high impact commercially and/or from a societal benefit standpoint. Any key points relating to enhancing U.S. leadership in this space should also be highlighted. The subtopic areas below are meant only as incomplete examples of what entrepreneurs may propose in this space, all distributed ledger proposals with technical innovation and significant commercial potential are welcome, regardless of the specific area of focus of the project.

DL1: Advanced Protocols: Blockchain, DAGs, and Next Gen Protocols

DL2: Cryptography and Security, Identity and Anonymity Solutions, Trusted Devices

DL3: Smart Contracts, Next-Generation Financial Technologies

DL4: Scalability Solutions, Enhanced Consensus Methods, Organizational Structures

DL5: Human to Technology Interface Innovations, Disruptive Business Model Innovations for Distributed Ledger Technologies

DL6: Distributed Ledger Convergence with Sensing, Big Data, AI, and IoT

DL7: Autonomous Systems and Economies

DL8: Other Technologies and Approaches Potentially Relevant to Distributed Ledger