Canadian Blockchain Company SecureKey Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Grant

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Canadian Blockchain company SecureKey Technologies, a leading provider of identity and authentication solutions, and the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), a non-profit coalition of public and private sector leaders committed to developing a Canadian digital identification and authentication framework, today announced their receipt of a new Applied Research Grant to enable the development of a Cloud Identity Ecosystem.

The grant, valued at up to US$800,000, is the result of a collaboration between DIACC and the Command Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analytics (CCICADA) a research center of excellence funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate. SecureKey and DIACC, Canada’s neutral digital identity industry standards setting organization, will develop the digital security framework consumers need to participate safely in the digital economies of today and tomorrow.

Last fall, SecureKey raised C$27 million from six of Canada’s top banks, including Royal bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank. Other previous investors included Intel Capital, Visa Inc and Canadian telecom firms. The companies, along with different levels of government, have partnered to lay the groundwork for a national digital identity network they hope to launch commercially later this year.

“Through ground-breaking partnerships, DIACC continues to help drive innovation in Canada and we are thrilled to have been awarded this research grant in collaboration with SecureKey,” said Joni Brennan, President, DIACC. “If Canada is to seize the opportunity of the digital economy, we must invest together in Digital ID and Authentication – these are the rails upon which the digital economy runs. Development of a secure and privacy-enhancing Cloud Identity Ecosystem is critical to enabling Canadian citizens, businesses, and governments to capture the full potential of the global digital economy.”

SecureKey and DIACC, Canada’s neutral digital identity industry standards setting organization, will develop the digital security framework consumers need to participate safely in the digital economies of today and tomorrow.

Leveraging modern distributed network architectures (blockchain), the Cloud Identity Ecosystem will give consumers the tools they need to securely manage their digital identities and assets. The Ecosystem will be built within a framework that protects and promotes Canadian values and perspectives in alignment with DIACC’s 10 Canadian Principles of Digital Identity Ecosystems.

“SecureKey is fully committed to developing a national digital identity ecosystem that puts consumers first and increases both their digital security and privacy,” said Andre Boysen, Chief Identity Officer of SecureKey. “This funding will be essential in making that commitment a reality, ensuring that consumers have access to secure digital protection. The fast-paced development of the digital economy demands that federated identity ecosystems be developed to support trusted transactions online by eliminating security and privacy gaps.”

SecureKey’s architecture will improve security and privacy controls while maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of data across multiple environments. The ecosystem will provide users with choice, control, and convenience when sharing digital assets across open interfaces. It will offer a transparent operational environment, and minimize data transfers between authoritative sources. Full details of the architecture and ecosystem can be found here.

SecureKey is a leading identity and authentication provider that simplifies consumer access to online services and applications. SecureKey enables next generation privacy-enhancing identity and authentication network for conveniently connecting people to critical online services using a digital credential they already have and trust. SecureKey is headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Boston and San Francisco. For more information, please visit

Created as a result of the federal government’s Task Force for the Payments System Review, the DIACC is a non-profit coalition of public and private sector leaders committed to developing a Canadian digital identification and authentication framework to enable Canada’s full and secure participation the global digital economy. DIACC members include representatives from both the federal and provincial levels of government as well as private sector leaders.

The DIACC’s objective is to unlock economic opportunities for Canadian consumers, and businesses by providing the framework to develop a robust, secure, scalable and privacy enhancing digital identification and authentication ecosystem that will decrease costs for governments, consumers, and business while improving service delivery and driving GDP growth.

The Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis — is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security University Center of Excellence that uses advanced data analysis and systems to address natural and manmade threats to the safety and security of the American people. CCICADA’s work is carried out by researchers and students with 17 partner institutions. The lead university in the partnership is Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. CCICADA’s director is Dr. Fred Roberts, Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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