Governments are showing increasing interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. A recent press release details that this week the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans on funding $600,000 in grants to government-related distributed ledger startups.
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DHS Funds Blockchain Research for ID Services
A couple of years ago no cryptocurrency enthusiast would expect government and nearly every legacy bank in the world to be invested in the technology that supports the Bitcoin network. However, today is a different story with large financial institutions, and government organizations showing they are betting big on blockchain technology. This past week on June 7, DHS announced it will be awarding grants to six companies that are working with these types of protocols.
Each business will be given $100,000 out of $3.1 million divided by 29 companies focused on science and technology. The money comes from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) charter, a program created in 1982. The six startups consist of the Respect Network Corporation, Celerity Government Solutions LLC, Digital Bazaar, Inc., RAM Laboratories LLC, Narf Industries LLC, and BlockCypher. The DHS report states the projects are meant for “blockchain applications for Homeland Security analytics, and the applicability of blockchain technology to identity management and privacy protection.”
One of the grant winners BlockCypher has been known for raising $3.5 million from firms such as Blockchain Capital, Boost VC, Jesse Draper, AME Cloud Ventures, and is also working with the multinational financial institution Deloitte. The project consists of an “infrastructure fabric for blockchain applications” which also supports Ethereum.
Projects like BlockCypher appeal to Homeland Security because the API basically crawls various blockchains providing “queries to general information, notifications system for a wide variety of events on blockchains, and queries information about addresses” among many other resources. As well as recently adding Ethereum’s blockchain, the service supports Bitcoin Testnet3, Litecoin, and Dogecoin networks as well.
Governments See Future in Distributed Ledgers
Governments are looking directly at Bitcoin and blockchain technology these days, and the message is clear they are interested. On June 1st, distributed ledger advocates explained cryptocurrency solutions and blockchains to an audience of central bankers from 90 different countries. The Chamber of Digital Commerce representatives including Founder and President, Perianne Boring, met with Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen as well. According to the press release and various news publications, Yellen and her colleagues are very interested in financial technologies.
Internationally the same thing is happening as government agencies are also entering the race. Back in February the blockchain-based firm Chainalysis signed a memorandum with Europol. Chainalysis also crawls the Bitcoin blockchain finding addresses, clusters, and unique patterns between them all. The company has also helped Tokyo investigators and Kraken with the Mt. Gox scandal.
Government organizations are very interested in the many solutions blockchain technology has to offer to help them fight crime, solve identity and monetary dilemmas bureaucrats face daily.
What do you think about Government getting in the thick of the blockchain technology industry? Let us know in the comments below.
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