Cryptocurrency enthusiasts will remember the initiative in Zug, Switzerland. About a year ago, the region started accepting Bitcoin payments for various public services. It now appears the local residents will become subject to blockchain identity solutions in the future. This will be an opt-in project to explore the capabilities of blockchain technology for this specific purpose. Additionally, this project will aid in consensus voting for the following years.

Using the blockchain for identity services makes a lot of sense. Zug wants to experiment with this technology and see how it can benefit the local community. Inhabitants will register their identity through an app. Once they do so, they can partake in e-voting in the Spring of 2018. A digitized approach to identity verification is a smart decision by the Zug city council. Centralized solutions have been experimented with, yet they all failed so far.

Zug and the Digital ID Project on Ethereum

A single electronic identity to serve as a digital passport is the primary objective for Zug right now. While the city officials will confirm people’s identities, the digital ID will reside on the blockchain. At first, the use cases will be limited to local services, such as renting a room. E-voting is the next big hurdle to tackle in 2018. Interestingly enough, Zug wants to issue these identities on top of the Ethereum blockchain.

That is a remarkable decision, considering the Ethereum chain sucks at scaling right now. While the project has roots in Zug, the decision to use Ethereum’s blockchain may backfire in the long run. It appears registering and managing the digital identity will occur through the uPort application. It is an interesting project which will hopefully succeed. Only time will tell if that will be the case, though.

A self-managed, secure and certified identity is invaluable for all people in the world. The city of Zug will be among the first to experiment with this concept in a real-life environment. From an innovative point of view, this project makes a lot of sense. Providing added value for consumers in a secure manner is not something companies can achieve in an effective manner. Whether or not this project will prove to be successful, remains to be determined.

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