Blockchain startups in the United States will attract close to $800K in funding from the country’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS). But with one condition – the startups must be using the distributed ledger technology to eradicate document counterfeiting.
The blockchain startups will be funded through the subsection of the Department of Homeland Security known as Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).
Notably, the funding will not necessitate the blockchain startups to sell equity for them to qualify for funding. The program will be stretched to 4 phases under the Silicon Valley Innovative Program (SVIP).
“SVIP is a bridge between the early-stage startup community and the Homeland Security Enterprise. DHS has need of the innovations coming from this community to ensure we are at least a step ahead of national security threats. By releasing this solicitation, we are seeking the innovation community to contribute to this work through the application of commercial solutions to homeland security use-cases,” said Melissa Oh, Managing Director, S&T SVIP.
According to a press release, the funding is targeting blockchain startups that will use the blockchain technology to ‘issue digital documentation in a way that prevents fraud, counterfeiting, and forgery.’
For blockchain startups to qualify for funding, they must currently not have a workforce exceeding 200 employees and have not attracted a contract worth more than 1 million U.S dollars from the government in the last one year.
Anil John, Technical Director, S&T SVIP, observed that:
“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 disruptive ledger technology for the issuance of what is currently paper-based credentials is critical to preventing their loss, destruction, forgery, and counterfeiting.”
The Department of Homeland Security has put up the fund in partnership with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection, among others.
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