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Self-managed digital identity using blockchain - AOC Consortium


As we can empower the citizen to have control of their personal data and their digital identity and to make them open, free, without intermediaries, with the public or private sector, locally or internationally


Digital identity has become a key driver of digital transformation, as demonstrated by the most advanced countries in the information society (countries Nordic, Singapore, Estonian, .), where they have pushed for very wearable, mobile-friendly, collaborative initiatives public-private. At the same time, in many others territories digital identity has become a barrier to digital development due to lack of solutions easy, safe, global and trustworthy.  

We are experiencing a digital revolution with the advent of different advanced technologies that create great opportunities for transforming and rethinking public services. This is the case with blockchain or distributed register networks (DLT)An informal way to describe the value of Blockchain is that it can handle reliable electronic transactions between strangers without a trusted third party. Raise, no doubt, a paradigm shift which will create a great variety dand new applications and services. 

Today, our economy is heavily based on intermediaries who guarantee or certify a transaction or some information. Intermediaries are usually expensive, slow and often offer little value. Some of them are banks, insurance companies, public registers (land, trade, etc.), notaries, certification bodies and, of course, the public administrations. One of the main functions of administrations is to manage information and provide official documents or certificates on licenses, permits, registration in public databases, etc. Therefore, the role of administration may be questioned in the future in some of these services. 

The big problems we currently have are the following: 

  • We live in a global world but do not have a global digital identity that we can use in the public and private sectors, locally and internationally. 80% of the citizens are regular Internet users, but only 35% of the actions with the Administration are made by electronic means due to the lack of an easy, secure digital identity, wearable and useful that can be used globally 
  • For the Administration this is a serious disadvantage because the citizens do only 3 formalities a year with all the administrations and they do not have the habit or need to have a public digital identity. Instead, citizens do dozens of performances every day with the private sector. However the Administration they have the state databases that allow to verify with reliability the identity of a person.  
  • For the private sector, this is a serious problem because each private service has its own identity which is very costly to manage and ensure security. On average, a user has 70 digital identities with different public or private providers. In addition, private companies do not have access to public records (registration, police, traffic, .) that would allow it to generate more robust and secure digital identities. 
  • We generate a huge amount of data every day but citizens have lost control of our personal data which is in the hands of major technology platforms and public administration.  The citizen demands to have greater control of their personal data and the use made by companies and public administrations. 

Blockchain and DLTs are exciting propositions for solving these challenges, but right now they are disruptive technologies for the future in the public sector. A thorough analysis of work, studies, reports and technology solutions has been performed (see more information) and it has come to the conclusion that there is no solution for the digital self-sovereign digital identity in the public sector, mature, generally implemented in an administration or territory, that has shown its potential benefits in the world market. 

Sproposed olution

Make a pilot which facilitatedi to the Catalan citizens have of a global, self-managed digital identification service based on blockchain technology and international standards (IDCAT Blockchain), which allows them to authenticate in electronic action before public and private administrations in Catalonia, the State and internationally. Self-managed digital identity is constituted from the set d'evidence ("claims") verified that a person receives from the issuing entities. 

Specifically the   has to: 

  • Promote the empowerment of the citizenry with the direct control of their personal data, documents, digital identities and other verified evidence (”claims"), Both in the power of public and private bodies. Citizens will have at their disposal a portfolio (“wallet”) Credentials and“claims", Under their exclusive control with a high level of confidence.  
  • Promote the use of digital identity credentials self-generated before the public and private sectors. 
  • Citizens will be able to share their “claims"In their managements and formalities, with their prior consent and in a verified way to ensure that they can be used to prove their identity to public and private bodies. Distributed register technologies (DLT) will be used to verify the “claims"And facilitate the performance of actions in a safe, usable, trusted and without intermediaries, or centralized controls. 
  • Facilitate the generation of “claims"Verified by public and private sector agencies, and their readiness for citizenship. The generation of “claims"Verified, it's key for the citizen to have a useful and powerful self-managed digital identity, which can be accepted by numerous digital services. 
  • Bringing value to public and private digital service providers from the perspective of improving efficiency, reducing management costs and increasing deployment to users, usability, security and trust.  
  • Daroundament based on major international standards, with an open source library that has a large and active community of programmers. 
  • Facilitate the generation of digital identities by the different service providers based on the sovereign digital identity 

In this work s'have analyzed the main initiatives worldwide.

  • UPort 
  • Sovrin 
  • Alastria ID
    • The AOC Consortium is a member of the network Alastria 
  • Other: start-ups 

A possible scheme of the solution would be the following one:

State ofthe project 

Exploreant Planned pilot  

More information 

    • The Illinois Blockchain Initiative is a public initiative, which collaboratively brings together blockchain initiatives in the public sector worldwide.
    • Report on the state of play and maturity of blockchain technology in the public sector
  • Report of the European Commission 2019 “Blockchain for government”
    • Analysis of the main EU government initiatives
    • The Government of Australia's Digital Transformation Agency published in February 2019 a set of recommendations on the immaturity of blockchain technology in the public sector.
    • The prestigious foundation The GovLab analyzes the use of blockhain technology to drive social change and has produced a specific report on the use of distributed registration technologies (DLT) for digital identity.