Several Canadian provincial governments, as well as six of the country’s largest lending institutions and its three leading wireless carriers, are involved in a project that aims to bring a blockchain-based identity management system to Canada.
Users will be able to access the service, which is to be built atop an IBM-developed blockchain platform, through mobile phone and Windows applications in order to prove their identities during interactions with banks, telecom providers, and governments. Customer registration is expected to be up and running in the first half of 2018.
A spokesperson for SecureKey Technologies Inc., the company developing the system, told ETHNews that she is not currently allowed to reveal which provincial governments are involved, but that the service “will be rolled out across Canada,” not only in participating polities.
In addition to speeding up the process of identity verification, SecureKey CEO Greg Wolfond is confident that building the system in a decentralized manner will prevent the creation of data “honeypots,” large repositories of customer information frequently targeted by hackers who seek to make money by obtaining and then selling or otherwise leveraging their contents.
In a seemingly unrelated development, through its Small Business Innovation Challenge (SBIC), the Government of Ontario-allied Ontario Centres of Excellence has awarded an undisclosed amount of funding to Enterprise Ethereum Alliance member Nuco to develop a blockchain-powered mechanism for identity verification. The SBIC, which encourages private sector actors to address public sector challenges, does not appear to be committed to adopting any service that Nuco eventually delivers.
A Nuco representative said that the system, which is to be tailored to use cases in which people “interact with government services,” will streamline updating of user information across multiple agencies’ databases, allow customers to control exactly which data are shared with what agency, and prevent the unauthorized retrieval of information through the use of executable distributed code contracts.