The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is offering blockchain startups grants of up to $800,000 to use the technology to stop forgers and counterfeiters, it announced.
The funding, which will be spread over four phases, will come through its Science and Technology Directorate unit’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). The government is looking for help from “startups and small businesses that have not had a government contract in the past 12 months totaling $1 million or more.” It defines “small” as having fewer than 200 employees at the time of application.
“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,” said Anil John, S&T SVIP technical director. “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.”
This effort comes not long after another unit of DHS put out a “pre-solicitation” document seeking information on whether there is a way to track privacy coins that could be used for criminal activity.