Blockchain Technology Explored for US Homeland Security

Journalist:
Rebecca Campbell
January 14, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it is exploring the use of blockchain technology, which could facilitate security and privacy controls.

In a recent news release on the DHS webpage, it states that ‘blockchain technology represents an innovative leap forward that has many uses and applications across multiple sectors of the economy.’

As such the science advisor to the Department of Homeland Security, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is taking the lead by undertaking research and development projects. By doing so, it is hoped that this will help to determine practicable uses for the technology.

Growth of Blockchain

Over the last two years the growth of blockchain has increased with spending of its development in the business, finance, public and government sectors.

A study conducted by Juniper Research last year found that the total value of Venture Capital (VC) blockchain and bitcoin investments totalled $290 million in the first six months of 2016. The banking sector was one area that embraced the technology with several banks such as UBS, ATB Financial, ReiseBank, and CIBC adopting Ripple’s blockchain protocol.

With a reduced risk of error and time needed for error checking in situations such as transaction settlements, the blockchain demonstrates the promise it can provide.

Blockchain and S&T

Even though many people claim that the blockchain is the second wave of the Internet, the S&T understand the potential benefits of the technology with it presenting many promises to the DHS.

According to the news release, if the security and privacy claims of blockchain’s supporters can be proven the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE) use cases for the technology would prove beneficial.

These include the sharing of emergency responder information, creating immutable records and audit logs of data, improving traveler experience, and reducing fraud in the transfer of goods.

Through its Small Business Innovation Research projects the S&T is investigating the various capabilities of blockchain.

Homeland Security and Blockchain

This, however, is not the first time that the Department of Homeland Security has focused on the technology.

In 2016, the DHS S&T awarded millions of dollars in blockchain and cybersecurity projects to support the development of security solutions involving the blockchain.

The DHS understands the potential that the technology can present. By offering grants to various small businesses to develop security features with the aid of the technology demonstrates this.

And as the technology continues to expand in different sectors with cybersecurity becoming a prevalent issue in today’s technological world, the blockchain could present the solution many are searching for.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Rebecca Campbell