Wednesday, September 30

US Homeland Security’s Startup Booster Calls Blockchain Startup Hunt

The Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), which acts as the startup booster of the DHS or the United States Department of Homeland Security, has recently started yet another hunt. It is primarily for an anti-counterfeiting project based on blockchain technology. The DHS is looking for the project to have flexible interoperability features. The renewal of hunt this year came on the day of Virtual Industry Day.

The use case for the startups has been redefined by the Silicon Valley Innovation Program this time. This time, the array of use cases for use by startups includes food supply chain, natural gas, e-commerce, and also a sustainable alternative to Social Security Number. One of the use cases added by SVIP is for the essential worker license, which was mainly inspired by the COVID-19 epidemic. The SVIP is offering up to $800,000 in initial funding as an incentive for the startups to come forward along with the possibility of being given government contracts. It is to lure first-time federal partners as well as new partners.

Just over two years ago, the Silicon Valley Innovation Program was active in the space of distributed technologies and forgeries, where it ventured to find suitable partners. The Department of Homeland Security has been following the developments in the blockchain technology for the last few years. The focus of DHS has been on the efforts of the private sector in the field of blockchain technology. The renewed hunt by DHS has only pointed out how seriously it has been focusing on the blockchain technology and solutions. The government’s cabinet has been highly interested in this technology as well, and it is also one of the reasons why the DHS has not only garnered the support to pursue blockchain but to closely integrate its solution.

One of the technical directors of the Silicon Valley Innovation Program, Anil John, said that the department is looking to attract talents from across the globe to solve the issues here in the United States. However, he cleared the air of any misconceptions that may be out there that SVIP is involved in or interested in doing any kind of science experiments. Anil John clearly outlined that SVIP is looking for results from this venture and not only futuristic concepts that may not come to fruition.

The Silicon Valley Innovation Program has more than gone out of the way to showcase its support for the blockchain technology in the past. It can be seen how it has closely supported Factom, Mavennet, SecureKey, and Digital Bazaar. However, it should not in any way be construed that SVIP is solely focused on blockchain technology and solutions as it has hands in building Border Patrol camera platforms as well as timber credential mechanisms for the DHS. The SVIP is the sub-wing of the Science and Technology Directorate and has given out millions in funding to achieve its purposes.

Anil John has been associated with the blockchain technology and world from the very onset and is rightly called the “Blockchain Guru” in the DHS. Also, he is quite popular in the blockchain space in the private sector as well. In the recent virtual event hosted by SVIP and DHS, Anil John challenged the 300 participants to present deployable and innovative tools for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Privacy Office, and the United States Customers and Border Protection (CBD). These are the three primary branches of the DHS, for which SVIP presents the new use cases.

Blockchain technology has gained worldwide acceptance in terms of its security, privacy, and scalability. As technology continues to grow, it is presenting its viability in many different sectors and platforms. It is what has attracted so many public and private sectors to divert its focus on it and extend its research and focus on blockchain technology. The SVIP hopes to infuse new life in its mechanisms and the branches of DHS by integrating blockchain technology, which can potentially present solutions to many of the hurdles and streamlining its operations.

Anil John is well-versed with the capabilities of this nascent technology and has been closely following its development globally. It is one of the reasons he has pushed for inviting teams from across the globe to present their custom solutions.