Blockchain firm secures $143K grant from US Homeland Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded $143,478 to Vienna, Austria-based blockchain startup firm Danube Tech GmbH to develop blockchain security technology. The grant is part of the department’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program which is exploring the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology solutions to fulfill a common need across DHS missions.

The DHS has operations in various sectors such as the Transport Security Administration, the Customs and Border Protection and the Citizenship and Immigration Services. These components issue, validate and verify eligibility requirements, provide supply chain security, certifications for travel and more. The current issuance processes are paper-based which is both tedious and costly. These processes are also prone to forgery and data loss.

To solve these issues, the DHS is “exploring the application of blockchain and DLT to issue credentials digitally to enhance security, ensure interoperability, and prevent forgery and counterfeiting.”

Anil John, the SVIP technical director remarked, “Danube Tech is building core interoperability infrastructure for issuers and verifiers. 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.”

Danube Tech received the award for its Universal Issuer and Verifier project. The project seeks to integrate interoperability support for multiple credential data formats, blockchains and open application programming interfaces.

Danube Tech is also working on a universal decentralized identification (DID) infrastructure that can be used to uniquely identify anything using self-sovereign and decentralized identifiers. Its Universal Resolver offers a lookup for any current DID version as well as a search engine for historic DID versions.

Homeland Security’s investment in Danube Tech is an indication of just how prominent blockchain identity solutions have become. As CoinGeek reported last month, the government of Catalonia plans on developing a decentralized identity platform. The platform is set to give the citizens greater control of their identity, especially when interacting with online services.

And at the CoinGeek Seoul conference, Pixel Wallet revealed that it’s working on a digital privatized identity system that will enable people to take control of their identities. Making the reveal, Alex Fauvel, the founder of Two Hop Ventures described VOAM (verify once, authenticated many), as the ultimate end to end KYC process for users and businesses alike.

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