US Dept. Of Homeland Security Offers $800,000 for blockchain startups
The United States Department of Homeland Security aims to finance anti-counterfeiting systems with awards of up to $800,000 for blockchain startups. On Tuesday, through its Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) unit, the DHS revealed non-dilutive funding under Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).
The financing will be spread over four stages. Non-dilutive financing implies that a firm does not have to divest its equity for financing.
The financing program relates to the November announcement from DHS–“Preventing Forgery and Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses “–through which the organization intends to enhance its capability to avoid fake certification using blockchain technology.
Melissa Oh, managing director at SVIP, said “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 be eligible for an award, blockchain start-ups must submit solutions covering numerous use cases, including the issuance of computerized travel, citizenship, immigration and employment agreement records, as well as cross-border oil and raw material interchanges.
The financing is available to start- ups and small businesses that have not had a government agreement of $1 million or more in the last year and that at the time of application have fewer than 200 employees, the DHS shows.
Anil John, SVIP technical director, 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.”
“Understanding the feasibility and utility of using blockchain and distributive ledger technology for the digital issuance of what are currently paper-based credentials is critical to preventing their loss, destruction, forgery and counterfeiting.”
Since 2015, the DHS was fascinated in blockchain technology when it started accepting research suggestions from small companies related to the crypto sector. More recently, the agency published a pre-request article on the utilization of cryptocurrencies and whether it is feasible to monitor transactions using privacy coins such as monero and zcash.