(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. defense agency that helped invent the internet is now looking at blockchain, the database technology behind the digital currency bitcoin, to help protect the networks its research made possible.

The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, an R&D arm of the military, has funded several startups and technology companies, such as Guardtime Federal LLC, while others including anti-virus pioneer John McAfee’s MGT Capital Investments Inc. are exploring or deploying the blockchain to identify and deter cyberattacks. Several new products should hit the market within months.

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