US Government Awards $2.25 Million to Blockchain Research Projects

   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 the 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

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor