The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is developing blockchain security technology to replace paper-based information systems and improve information-sharing.
The DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded a grant of $199,984 to Virginia-based company Digital Bazaar under its Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), set up to fund innovation and work with private sector partners to advance homeland security solutions.
The DHS’ intention is to allow its agencies — such as US Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, and US Citizenship and Immigration Services — to issue, validate, and verify eligibility requirements, licenses and certifications for travel, citizenship and immigration status, employment eligibility, and supply chain security.
Existing processes are often paper-based, do not allow the easy exchange of data, and could be susceptible to loss, destruction, forgery, and counterfeiting.
The S&T is exploring the application of blockchain and DLT to issue credentials digitally to “enhance security, ensure interoperability, and prevent forgery and counterfeiting“.
“Deploying innovative credential issuance technologies within mature organisations requires integration with existing technology and processes to manage the lifecycle of digital credentials,” said Anil John, SVIP Technical Director.
“Digital Bazaar building out the enterprise credential lifecycle management capabilities of their existing platform while utilising emerging W3C global standards mitigates enterprise risk in supporting and utilising these standards within and across organisations.”
Companies participating in the SVIP are eligible for up to $800,000 to develop and adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.