US Homeland Security taps blockchain firm Factom to track raw material imports

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded a grant of $197,292 to enterprise blockchain firm Factom for developing a security system that can help detect fraud involving imports, such as raw materials.

Announced Monday, the department said Factom will develop a blockchain platform that will help manage certificates and licenses associated with tracking raw material imports through an open system ensuring the provenance of issued credentials.

“Data-centric blockchains that can work with any type of data are useful in enterprise contexts such as those of U.S. Customs and Border Protection for understanding the origin of raw material imports,” said Anil John, technical director of the department’s silicon valley innovation program, adding:

“Factom is addressing this business and technical problem in a manner that supports global interoperability by adapting their existing Harmony products to support emerging World Wide Web Consortium global standards such as decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials.”

This is not the first time the DHS has tapped Factom to build blockchain solutions. In June last year, the department granted $192,380 to Factom for building a system to secure data from Border Patrol cameras and sensors.

The DHS has been on a grant-spree lately to blockchain startups. Earlier this month, it awarded nearly $200,000 to blockchain startup Digital Bazaar for building a credential management solution; and $182,700 to Canadian blockchain startup Mavennet Systems for developing a solution for its Customs and Border Protection unit to help it track oil and natural gas imports from Canada in “real-time.”