Blockchain technology is gaining more attention throughout the World. We see its applications such as supply chain management, health care, real estate.
So what is Blockchain?
A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of immutable records of data that is managed by a cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) is secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain). saurce: Blockgeeks
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to apply blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions in order to replace replacing paper-based systems. In an effort to prevent the loss, destruction, and forgery, DHS has awarded Virginia-based Digital Bazaar $199,984 to develop its blockchain security technology, according to cointelegraph.com on Nov. 14.
The Department’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) made the Phase 1 award, as it explores blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions to fulfill common needs across DHS missions.
Replacing paper-based systems
Through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the DHS issues, validates and verifies licenses and certifications for travel, citizenship, immigration and employment eligibility.
Many of these processes are paper-based, do not allow data exchange between systems, and are susceptible to loss, destruction and forgery.
As such, S&T is examining whether blockchain and DLT can be used to digitize and replace the paper-based system and help prevent the aforementioned problems.
Building enterprise features into existing tech
Digital Bazaar will use the award for its “Interoperable Enterprise Identity and Credential Life-cycle Management” project.
This aims to build on the company’s existing technology which supports emerging web standards such as Decentralized Identifiers and Verifiable Credentials. The existing technology will be enhanced with enterprise workforce and credential lifecycle management features. The long-term goal is to bring this customized solution to market. S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program Technical Director, Anil John, explained:
“Deploying innovative credential issuance technologies within mature organizations requires integration with existing technology and processes to manage the lifecycle of digital credentials.”
This is the second large award for blockchain tech development made by the DHS in as many months. At the end of September, an Austrian company received $143,000 to develop blockchain-based security solutions. Danube Tech was awarded a contract by S&T to assist in fighting the forgery and counterfeiting of certificates and licenses.
Blockchain authenticates digital information, it provides decentralization, transparency, and immutability. Thanks to these properties, the adoption of Blockchain is gaining momentum in other industries as well. For example, Vechain made a partnership in order to trace Pu’er Tea. Retail giants Carrefour and Nestlé are working on tracking the supply chain of the milk-based formula for infants with the help of IBM’s Food Trust blockchain platform.
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