The US Department of Homeland Security Awards 143K to Blockchain Security Firm

Blockchain Technology Security

The Austria-based company Danube Tech GmbH secured over $143K from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) for enabling interoperability between blockchains for multiple credential data formats.

Implementing this new security functionality for blockchain will help the DHS to combat forgery and counterfeiting in immigration and citizenship documents. The company is working on developing technology in the field of digital identity and personal data, including personal agents, semantic graphs, and decentralized identity

The Phase One award was funded through S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) Other Transaction Solicitation Preventing Forgery & Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses, which explores blockchain solutions to obtain a wide necessity of different DHS missions.

This program is floated to find remedies and fixes to complex security problems encountered by the DHS and its various enterprises. The program is further designed to strengthen the national security in the U.S., leveraging breakthrough technologies such as distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The DHS’s operational components – including Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration and Citizenship and Immigration Services – deals with paper-based documents. These divisions under the DHS issue, validate and verify a wide variety of citizenship and eligibility requirements, licenses and certifications including citizenship, and immigration status; employment eligibility; and supply chain security.

However, the current issuance and verification processes do not facilitate data exchange and are most often based on paper (which is obviously outdated) that made them vulnerable to misplacement, fraud, destruction, forgery, and counterfeiting. Due to these vulnerabilities, the S&T is exploring the application of blockchain and DLT to issue credentials digitally.

First Phase Out of Four for Blockchain Firms

Danube Tech GmbH received the Phase One award of $143,487 for its “Universal Issuer and Verifier project,” which will incorporate interoperability functionality between multiple blockchains for multiple credential data formats that enable secure credential issuance and identity verification.

The award is part of the agency’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program, or SVIP, where companies can participate in the development of blockchain-based solutions to tacked the issues faced by DHS. Participating firms can receive up to $800,000 across four different phases for developing solutions to counter the homeland security challenges.

“Danube Tech is building core interoperability infrastructure for issuers and verifiers,” SVIP Technical Director Anil John said. “Interoperability between blockchains is enabled by using emerging World Wide Web Consortium standards to globally resolve and find information where it exists on a particular blockchain.”

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