The Department of Homeland Security awarded a $143,000 other transaction solicitation Sept. 27 to an Austrian company to create compatibility for the agency’s different data formats and blockchain efforts throughout the department.
The money was awarded by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) to Danube Tech GmbH to develop blockchain security technology as the department seeks to combat forgery and counterfeiting.
According to the news release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services all have responsibilities for data that can be secured using blockchain. These agencies are responsible for processes like identity verification, immigration status, employment eligibility and supply chain security. Using blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT), the agencies could issue credentials digitally, which would “enhance security, ensure interoperability, and prevent forgery and counterfeiting," the release said.
The release said that current processes within DHS are paper-based, aren’t compatible with other systems and could be lost or destroyed in the process. Danube Tech will “integrate interoperability support for multiple credential data formats, blockchains and standardized and open application programming interfaces into their existing decentralized identifier.”
“Danube Tech is building core interoperability infrastructure for issuers and verifiers,” said Anil John, SVIP technical director. “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.”
The award was made under the Silicon Valley Innovation Program, a DHS program based in California to help DHS adopt new technology faster.