Blockchain Next Wave For Digital IDs In Europe?

At the highest level blockchain proponents say that distributed ledger technology (DLT) has the ability to safely, and immutably, transfer data, payments and … well , seemingly any exchange of value and information that one might envision.

In recent months we have seen DLT deployed, or in pilot phases, for tracking everything from “farm to table” food activities, to freight documentation and bond issuances within financial services.

Now comes the news, as detailed by Coindesk, that in Catalonia the government has said it will develop a DLT-based identity platform that seeks to “give citizens control of their own data when interacting with online services.”

To be sure, the use of digital ID verification methods is becoming more commonplace, as noted in this space, in the August Digital Identity Tracker, the number of individuals using government issued IDs is expected to top 5 billion by 2024.

In the latest iteration, the Catalan effort will be known as IndentiCAT, and through the government, was announced by Minister of Digital Policy and Public Administration Jordi Puignero. According to a statement, the minister said on Monday (Sept. 9) that the goal is to allow citizens in Catalonia to “carry out activities with the full assurance and security in the digital society of the 21st century.”

The effort in Catalonia will be focused not on collecting personal data, but rather on citizens managing their own identities through mobile devices, with the government acting as validator for the network. In terms of mechanics, a user can enlist IdentiCAT to verify that they are of legal age — yet the individual will not have to offer up what might  be thought of as sensitive data such as dates or places of birth.

The project is seemingly in early stages, as underlying tech still remains to be developed, including the very software that will develop and authenticate the IDs. In a wider setting, IdentiCAT is slated to…

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