The US Department of Homeland Security have offered to fund anti-counterfeiting solutions from blockchain start-ups with grants of up to $800,000.
The funding will be distributed across four phases through the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). The aim of the initiative is to “prevent forgery and counterfeiting of certificates and licenses,” which will be achieved by using blockchain technology.
Melissa Oh, managing director at SVIP, said: “The DHS has need of the innovations coming from this community to ensure we are at least a step ahead of national security threats.”
In order to receive a grant from the initiative, start-ups must present potential solutions covering a variety of use cases, including the issuing of digital documents related to travel, citizenship, immigration, and employment.
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SVIP’s technical director, Anvil John, said: “The broad Homeland Security mission includes the need to issue entitlements, licenses, and certifications for a variety of purposes, including travel, citizenship, employment eligibility, immigration status, and supply chain security.”
He continued: “Understanding the feasibility and utility of using blockchain and distributed ledger technology for the digital issuance of what are currently paper-based credentials is critical to preventing their loss, destruction, forgery, and counterfeiting.”
The Department of Homeland Security recently showed an interest in cryptocurrencies, stating that they would start tracking privacy coins like Monero to perform forensic analysis on the blockchain.