Buenos Aires to issue blockchain-based digital ID.

Buenos Aires to issue blockchain-based digital ID.

Buenos Aires Integrates Blockchain Technology into Bureaucracy

Date: October 1, 2023

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is set to revolutionize its bureaucratic processes by embracing blockchain technology. In an announcement made on September 28, the city revealed its plan to provide its 15 million residents with access to identity documents through a digital wallet starting in October. This move signifies a significant step towards digitalizing administrative services and improving efficiency in the city.

Blockchain Integration in Bureaucracy

The first set of documents to be made available on the blockchain will include birth and marriage certificates, as well as proof of income and academic verification. The project aims to expand to include health data and payment management in the future. A roadmap for the nationwide rollout of this blockchain-based solution is expected to be defined by the end of 2023.

The infrastructure behind this innovative project is powered by QuarkID, a digital identity protocol developed by Web3 firm Extrimian. QuarkID wallets utilize zkSync Era, an Ethereum scaling protocol that employs zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups). This technology allows parties to prove the truth of a statement without disclosing any specific information related to the statement itself.

“We are thrilled to see Buenos Aires taking the lead in adopting blockchain technology for government services in Latin America,” said Guillermo Villanueva, CEO of Extrimian. This move marks a significant milestone towards a safer and more efficient future for government services in the region.

Self-Sovereign Identity and zkSync Era

The data stored within the QuarkID wallets will be self-sovereign, enabling citizens to have control over the delivery of their credentials when interacting with government entities, businesses, and individuals. By leveraging zkSync Era as the settlement layer for QuarkID, the system ensures that each citizen holds the correct and verified credentials.

Buenos Aires Sets the Standard for Blockchain Adoption

The Argentine government and the City of Buenos Aires envision their digital identity framework as a public good. Diego Fernandez, Buenos Aires’ Secretary of Innovation, highlighted the importance of this development, stating that “Buenos Aires becomes the first city in Latin America, and one of the first in the world, to integrate and promote this new technology and set the standard for how other countries in the region should use blockchain technology for the benefit of their people.”

Addressing Privacy Concerns and Exploring Similar Initiatives

While Buenos Aires takes significant strides towards blockchain integration, the Argentine government is also investigating another digital ID project called Worldcoin. This initiative, which is under scrutiny in Europe and Africa since its global launch in July, faces privacy concerns related to the collection, storage, and usage of customer data. Worldcoin, founded by Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, utilizes retinal scans for user verification.

Embracing Blockchain Technology for a Digital Future

Buenos Aires’ integration of blockchain technology into its bureaucracy signifies a groundbreaking step towards a more digitally advanced future. By leveraging the transparent and immutable nature of blockchain, the city aims to enhance efficiency, security, and citizen empowerment. As more governments and organizations continue to recognize the transformative potential of blockchain technology, we can expect to see its adoption across various sectors, leading us towards a more decentralized and trusted world.

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