US Department of Homeland Security Seeks Blockchain Start-Ups to Mitigate Real Life Challenges


  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has called on Blockchain start-ups yet again to create real-life solutions that could solve problems they face.
  • Through their tech scouting wing, the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), they have issued a set of potential use cases they would like solutions for.

Among the array of use cases, the SVIP has included traceability of supply chains revolving on the e-commerce, food and natural gas industry, essential personnel license compelled by Covid-19 travel restrictions, and a potential stand into their Social Security Number system.

SVIP’s technical director, Anil John, highlighted this during a virtual day event on Tuesday, insisting that they were seeking solutions to solve local shortcomings.

In a previous similar Blockchain start-up, the initiative by the DHS and SVIP, where they dangled an $800k grant incentive for start-ups with solutions whose purview could help supplement their anti-counterfeiting and anti-forgery measures. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were all set to gain from the initiative.

Uses Cases That Blockchain May Optimize:

Social Security Number Alternative

Even though the SVIP often been commissioned with finding mitigations to unique problems facing the DHS on numerous occasions. They have called on the Blockchain start-ups to generate a unique identifier system to serve as an option to their SSN program for the DHS privacy office.

Senior director for Privacy Policy and Oversight at DHS, David Linder, has clarified that the system wouldn’t be a replacement to SSN rather a unique identifier that could be shared while averting the risk of revealing personal information.

Essential Personnel Verification

There has also been mention of a digital essential person verification system for U.S. Citizen Immigration Services. To lessen the spread of the Covid-19 virus, travel restrictions in the U.S. were imposed.

To curb the spread of Covid-19 in the U.S., they want to make verification for essential staff easier as core government functions have to carry on. Citing a border control analogy, John illustrated how such a system would come in handy in attestation of essential staff seeking to move across the border to and from Canada.

They have, however, confirmed that this would not be a version of the Covid-19 immunity certificate with John unsatisfied with the logic and science behind the issuance of immunity passports and certificates.

Streamline Supply Chain Traceability

Pitches for Supply chain tracing solutions are also welcome with a keen focus on e-commerce, food, and natural gas sectors.

Director of CBP’s business transformation division, Vincent Annunziato, disclosed that his agency is seeking to do away with paper-based systems in favor of a fully digitized system that has been greenlighted by auditors. He cited Walmart’s leafy greens and FDA’s projects that are all leveraging Blockchain Tech.

Blockchain Interoperability

The SVIP top brass, John, deems the exchange of information across the various Blockchain crucial. He has reiterated on the importance of operating standards that will allow the platforms to overlap hence facilitating information sharing across the Blockchains.

There will be accepting solutions from across the globe and not limit their search to local talents.

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