The Department of Homeland Security is putting its faith in blockchain to combat counterfeit digital documents, announcing this week that it will offer up to $800,000 in funding to relevant startups
The agency’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) is running the scheme as part of its security efforts to prevent fake documentation of licenses and certificates for immigration, travel, marriage, and citizenship applications. The announcement indicates the US government’s growing interest in the powers of blockchain technology, following on from another project exploring cryptocurrency usage and the ability to track transactions.
“Understanding the feasibility and utility of using blockchain and distributive ledger technology for the digital issuance of…credentials is critical to preventing their loss, destruction, forgery and counterfeiting,”
said Anil John, SVIP’s technical director.
Funding is open to blockchain businesses with fewer than 200 employees and to those who have not already received a government contract this year. Successful grants will be administered in four phases and will not demand equity in exchange.