DHS Awards Grants to Develop Blockchain-based Solutions for Commercial Applications

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded a grant of $750,000 each to two Blockchain startup companies: Digital Bazaar and Evernym. Under the terms of this award, both companies will work toward the development of Blockchain-based commercial solutions for both public and private applications.

 Under the Phase 2 funding from DHS’ Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, the companies were mandated to address four use cases, namely:

  1. Internet of things (IoT) devices and sensors;

  2. processing of international travelers;

  3. border trade facilitation;

  4. identity management.

 The grant money was sourced from the directorate’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The fund also supports creating the building blocks for technology solutions, including the drafting of standards for the technology.

 Specific programs of the Blockchain startups

 Evernym is advancing a project for the design and implementation of a decentralized key management system for Blockchain. The company primarily focuses its efforts on how to resolve the issues that could possibly emerge when a Blockchain wallet user’s key is revoked or reissued.

 According to S&T cybersecurity research and development program manager Anil John, this is something the agency is keenly interested in:

 “You need to have control over the Blockchain wallet when making attestations or conducting operations that are related to any type of Blockchain. We are interested in solving what happens when a key needs to be revoked or reissued as a foundational layer of the technology to make it work at scale.”

 Meanwhile, Digital Bazaar is working on a project to enable interoperability across 15 to 20 different platforms that are used for Blockchain implementation.

 John stated that the agency aims to create a standardized approach for data management that can be used by the government, the private sector, and other interested parties.