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GSCW chat recap: Jeffrey Curtis on demystifying blockchain for defense supply chains

‘The single version of the truth is just so important’

Simba Chain VP Jeffrey Curtis (right) discusses defense supply chains with Patrick Duffy (left).

This fireside chat recap is from Day 1 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 1 focuses on the military, aerospace and manufacturing.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Simba Chain: Demystifying blockchain for defense supply chains

DETAILS: An efficient and auditable blockchain can be produced and managed in a nearly drag-and-drop fashion that democratizes the use of technology.

SPEAKER: Jeffrey Curtis, vice president of defense and supply chain, Simba Chain. (The chat was conducted by Patrick Duffy, president of Blockchain in Transport Alliance.)

BIO: Curtis is a senior defense business reform leader with 34 years of experience in strategic problem-solving for large, complex organizations. A retired member of the Senior Executive Service and a recognized supply chain, metrics and analytics expert, he has held leadership positions in the Department of Defense and is now vice president of defense and supply chain for SIMBA Chain, a blockchain startup company. Curtis is also president of his own consulting company, JCTEB LLC.


“The single version of the truth is just so important. Knowing what you have, where it is, who has it is awfully important. You don’t want it on two sets of books. You don’t want me to think I still have it even though I shipped it to you. …. Or where is it? Almost as bad, I think you have it, you think I have it and it’s on neither of our books.”

“To complete an audit was a success, just having it get done. Passing it was the goal, but I think we were realistic to just get through it. There was a phrase we didn’t want to hear; it was called ‘pencils down.’ Everything is so messed up, I can’t even do this, I can’t even audit it.”

“At one point, there was an entity within DOD that said, ‘I want blockchain.’ And when his or her folks said, ‘To do what?’ the answer was, ‘I want blockchain.’ No clue as to why, just ‘I’ve heard about this.’ I think there’s a quote from an admiral back in World War I or II — ‘I don’t know what this logistics thing is but I want some of it.’ It’s kind of similar to that. But now we’re getting past that. … It’s working its way into the genuine mainstream.”