blockchain (Andrew Derr/

Blockchain to help CBP track Canadian energy imports

The Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection is looking adapt a Canadian firm’s blockchain application to track oil and natural gas shipments coming into the U.S. over the northern border.

The $182,700 investment from DHS Science and Technology Directorate went to Mavennet Systems, which has built a blockchain-as-a-service platform for Canadian commercial oil markets that allows real-time audits of natural gas trading there.

In adapting the system for use by CBP, DHS said Mavennet will create a generic end-to-end platform the agency can use to track any variety of imported commodities. The platform includes automation and API integration, as well as the ability to adapt to legacy systems, according to DHS.

Anil John, S&T's Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) technical director, said the system will not only provide digital auditability, but also support emerging worldwide commercial oil consortium standards for decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials for blockchain use.

The contract is a SVIP Phase 1 initial development award, which is a three-to-six-month proof-of-concept. If the platform is successful in Phase 1, it could progress through SVIP's four development phases and eventually lead to its operational testing in various environments at DHS, after demonstrations and pilots.

The agreement continues CBP's efforts to harness emerging technology. This past spring, the agency took public input on its 21st Century Customs Framework, or 21CCF, to process imported cargo. Lawmakers and shippers urged it to use blockchain and artificial intelligence in that effort.

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.