DHS, homeland security
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The US government has awarded research contracts to three startups working with blockchain worth a total of about $2.25m.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) quietly revealed the grants last week as part of its Small Business Innovation Research initiative.

Who got funded: DHS said that it parceled out a total of $9.7m between 12 companies, three of which are working with the tech. According to a release, each firm got about $750,000 to fund their research.

Here are the companies that got funds for their blockchain-related initiatives:

  • BlockCypher: The startup has been awarded a grant for its "blockchain platform for multiple blockchains, applications and analytics. BlockCypher was the recipient of a $600,000 DHS grant last summer.
  • Digital Bazaar: According to DHS, the company is working on a "verifiable claims project" that utilizes "fit-for-purpose distributed ledgers". Like BlockCypher, Digital Bazaar was given a DHS grant in 2016.
  • Evernym: This Utah-based business will use the funds to support its research into "decentralized key management using blockchain", according to DHS.

The big picture: With the grants, the DHS is expanding the scope of its investments in blockchain.

To date, DHS – created during the George W. Bush administration in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks – has been one of the more prolific government departments in the blockchain space. Similarly, a research lab funded by DHS has also conducted work on the tech, developing a bitcoin transaction analysis tool last year.

Some organizations supported by federal funding, the National Science Foundation in particular, have moved in the past year to provide working capital for blockchain-related research efforts

Image Credit: Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com

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