The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded a grant of nearly $1 million dollars to a blockchain startup.
Virginia-based DigitalBazaar, according to a September 25 release from the DHS, received the $749,241 in funding through the Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR). The grant, the department said, is intended to fuel the development of "fit-for-purpose blockchains" for a number of use cases.
Specifically, the government said, the firm will work on a "flexible software ecosystem" to include "digital credentials and digital wallets to address a wide variety of identity management and online access use cases."
The software is being developed for the department's Homeland Security Enterprise initiative.
The news marks the third time DigitalBazaar has received funding through the SBIR. The startup was one of several recipients of funding in the summer of 2016, followed by an additional award in May of this year. To date, DigitalBazaar has received more than $1 million through the initiative.
In statements, government officials characterized their work with DigitalBazaar as being focused on research and development, serving as a way to explore applications of the tech within the DHS.
According to Doughlas Maughan, director of the department's Cyber Security Division:
"Blockchain technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we manage online identity and access the internet. This R&D project will help bring this potential closer to reality."
Homeland Security image via Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock