Jai bolsonaro on Blockchain Project
Source: Wikipedia

In Brief

  • The Brazilian Army developed a blockchain software which could track guns and other firearms to keep weapons under control in the country.
  • President Jair Bolsonaro shut down the project and said it failed to conform with the guidelines.
  • Bolsonaro now under investigation by Brazilian prosecutors who say he may be guilty of violating Brazil’s constitution. 

Cryptocurrencies have been involved in a plethora of controversies resulting in the incessant criticism before it could even be used to the fullest. While many blockchain technology startups are swarming across numerous sectors – from healthcare to sustainability – there appears to be a new and, rather surprising set of such instances sparking political debate.

Lately, a Brazil-based Blockchain company that can track guns and other ammunitions operated by the military to control the arms in the country was shut down by President Jair Bolsonaro. 

From the purchase of weapons, ammunition, and other firearms to its distribution in consumer markets, the system would use blockchain technology to track the supply chain of products.  

The President opposed the tracking system for guns and took to Twitter by adding that it had irregularities with the guidelines. “Gun hobbyists and collectors: I have determined to revoke COLOG Ordinances No 46, 60 and 61, of March 2020, which deal with the tracking, identification and marking of weapons, ammunition, and other controlled products, because they do not conform to my guidelines defined in the decrees,” the president said via his Twitter account.

This sparked a political debate where the Brazilian prosecutors are now investigating whether Bolsonaro’s order may have breached the constitution, press reports from Globo Brasil said. 

A local report said that Raquel Branquinho, a Brazilian prosecutor, allegedly accused Bolsonaro of flouting the constitution and thwarting the citizens’ security by controlling the use of guns and ammo.

“By acting in this way, that is, by preventing the publication of norms compatible with the constitutional order and which are necessary for the exercise of the activity performed by the Army Command, the President of the Republic violates the Federal Constitution, insofar as it prevents the efficient protection of a relevant and essential asset for Brazilian citizens, which is public security, and enables mechanisms to escape the rules for controlling the use of weapons and ammunition,” wrote Branquinho in a letter obtained by the State.

“The city of Rio de Janeiro is the most visible face of this lack of effective control over the entry of arms into the country.”

In another front to the investigation against Bolsonaro, the Federal Attorney for Citizens’ Rights and the External Control Chamber of Police Activity and Prison System is planning to go forward with the project and has asked Army Logistics Command to continue the work on the system despite the president’s interference.

If Bolsonaro’s decision is annulled by the court, the blockchain project would be able to trace weapons seized from criminals, therefore, increasing safety for the citizens.

Indeed, given that Brazil has 14 of the 50 most violent cities in the world, according to figures from Consejo Ciudadano para la Seguridad Pública y la Justicia Penal, it is the need of the hour to use modern technologies such as blockchain to solve this issue.