The US Department of Homeland Security is looking to understand the underlying technology of bitcoin, blockchain through a predominant public- private partnership program known as Small Business Innovation Research (SIBR).

Currently, the US cabinet department is accepting proposals from small businesses that includes around 500 employees in 13 topics areas such as “Applicability of Blockchain Technology to Privacy Respecting Identity Management” and “Blockchain Application for Homeland Security Analytics.”

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Reginald Brothers, the Under Secretary for Science and Technology of the US Department of Homeland Security stated, “Blockchain technologies, of incorporated with the security and privacy capabilities required by the HSE, potentially offer a flexible, resilient and potentially lower cost alternative to current Homeland Security Enterprise identity management capabilities.”

According to SIBR, it is a three- phase program that plans to encourage the small businesses in the US to put efforts toward federal research.

The objective of Phase I is to determine the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of the proposed effort.

Phase I awards are limited to $100,000 for the S&T SBIR projects and are to six months on duration.

The objective of Phase II is to continue the research and development effort from the completed Phase I project.

Phase II awards are limited to $750,000 for S&T SBIR projects ad are up to 24 months in duration.

Phase III refers to work that derives from, extends or completes an effort made under prior SBIR funding, but is funded by sources other than the SBIR program.

Phase III work is typically oriented toward commercialization of SBIR research or technology.

Phase III work may be for products, production, services, research and development or any such combination. There is no limit on the number, duration, and type or dollar value of Phase III awards made to a small business.

There is no limit on the time that may elapse between a Phase I or Phase II award and a Phase II award, or between a Phase III award and any subsequent Phase III award.

“It is virtually important that we cast a wide net to find highly innovative solutions to the nation’s homeland security challenges.

We know that America’s small businesses are creative problem solvers and engines of innovation and we want to hear from them.”

The US Department of Homeland Security was involved in the raid on dark market that lead to 17 arrests and a seizure of $80,000 bitcoins.

The agents identified a 33- year old US based dark seller of weapons to a “worldwide client base”.