Homeland Security Funds 5 New Projects Exploring Blockchain Technology

The Homeland Security Department tapped one U.S.-based and four international blockchain companies to explore the emerging, record-keeping technology’s potential to help refresh how the agency conducts operations.

The five startups were selected to receive phase I awards amounting to more than $800,000 collectively through the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program, or SVIP. Their work could eventually lead to the potential production of a Social Security number alternative that won’t divulge personally identifiable information, extend the agency and its subcomponents’ visibility into multiple supply chains—and more. 

Homeland Security leverages SVIP to invest in technological solutions that can be rapidly prototyped, and holds promise to modernize its own capabilities. Blockchain is a contemporary technology that tracks, records and authenticates information and transactions. Recognizing the burgeoning tech’s potential to transform its internal pursuits, the department launched a “Preventing Forgery and Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses” solicitation in 2018 calling

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US Homeland Security Funds Anti-Forgery Blockchain Projects in Latest R&D Round

A CBP officer inspects a shipment of flowers entering the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s research and development wing, the Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate, on Friday awarded $817,712 in total to five blockchain startups in a bid to reimagine the federal government’s anti-forgery and counterfeit prevention operations.

From creating digital Social Security Number alternatives to building e-commerce tracing systems, the winners have up to six months to develop blockchain proofs-of-concepts for DHS’ client agencies. S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), essentially an equity-free tech accelerator within S&T, is funding the round.

  • Spherity GmbH received $145,000 to develop a “digital twin” record of inbound e-commerce packages. The German company’s system would share critical information among parties without compromising privacy, SVIP said. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the client.
  • New Zealand-based MATTR LIMITED will build U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services a digitally issued essential worker license using its $200,000 prize. S&T officials said COVID-19’s work shutdowns have proven
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