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US Homeland Security explores blockchain credentialling for raw material imports

timber imports

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded $198,642 to Texas-based blockchain firm Transmute Industries for a proof of concept for using distributed ledger technology (DLT) for raw materials imported in the country.

The blockchain project will be developed for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) using Transmute’s blockchain identity solution for transparency, automation and security of steel, timber and diamonds entering the U.S.

The grant was issued by the Science and Technology Directorate of DHS to prevent forgery and counterfeiting of raw materials. The Transmute ID will provide “Verifiable Provenance, Traceability, and Regulatory Compliance for Raw Material Imports”. Primarily, the project will enable digital credentialing of shippers, brokers, carriers, drivers, vehicles and devices to curtail unethical practices and ensure compliance with trade treaties with different countries.

“The ability to construct a secure, digital, chain-of-custody mechanism for raw material imports is a critical aspect of enabling legitimate trade,” said Anil John, SVIP Technical Director.

John further said: “Transmute’s combined centralized and decentralized approaches address this challenge and support global interoperability by utilizing emerging World Wide Web Consortium global standards.”

Launched in 2018, Transmute sees several use cases for its blockchain platform. It primarily focuses on Identity and Access Management (IAM). Transmute claims its solution is interoperable with current identity systems employed by enterprises. Some of its partners include Microsoft, W3C, Oracle, DIF, Kantara, ConsenSys and OpenFaaS.

The startup is also part of the open-source Element project for decentralized identifiers (DiDs) which aims to help to scale DiDs on Ethereum.

This grant is one of the many blockchain grants DHS has issued in the past few months. Last month, DHS awarded a similar contract to Danube Tech for blockchain credentialing.

A few days ago, Canadian firm Mavennet Systems received a $182,700 grant to integrate blockchain for cross-border oil imports.