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The Catalonian government has decided to go on a different path and make its identity system to be blockchain-based. This creates a unique opportunity for power to return to the people rather than the state.
The Catalonian government has decided to go in the direction of decentralized systems to implement their identity solutions. The so-called Self-Sovereign Identities (SSIs) will run off its own fully independent decentralized ledger system.
The project which has been called “IdentiCAT” will not be controlled by the government. Catalonians both home and abroad will have access to their Data and be able to choose who they share they share what with. Catalan President Quim Torra said in a press conference:
“Catalonia to become the first country with a decentralized digital identity where citizens own, manage and are the sole custodians of their identity and data.”
The Governments’ role will be to act as a validator to the network only. There are no plans for data storage or access. According to Coindesk, the Government said:
“The ‘IdentiCAT’ will be the first digital identity at European level, which will be driven by the public sphere and managed by citizens themselves with the aim of becoming standard use in Catalonia.”
Citizenship Empowerment is Central to IdentiCAT
In line with the idea of Catalan Statehood, the concept of citizen’s empowerment is one of the core driving factors behind the project. Other Countries with similar projects such as Estonia have managed to create the e-citizen concept which allows the citizen access to government services without the stress of having to get to government offices in person.
This, of course, validates the very concept of giving people power over assets deployed in distributed ledger systems which for too long have been held and controlled to their disadvantage using central technologies.
Access to IdentiCAT Will be Cross-Platform
It is understood that anyone wishing to access the identity system will be able to do so from across multiple devices: mobile, web and even desktop. Users will be able to create and manage their own identities without due recourse to supervision by any central authority.
Furthermore, IdentiCAT will also conform with the EU’s 2014 eIDAS specifications giving all Catalans access to the services in all European Union Member States. The system is expected to have been completed by 2020. Bidding is also expected to start at €550,000 (about $607,000).
Other Countries to Also Use DLT-based Identity Solutions
Sierra Leone is also looking to adopt decentralized ledger systems for the deployment of its identity solutions. Earlier this month, the West African Nation collaborated with both the United nations and Kiva, a US-based Non-Profit that deals primarily with micro-credit.
The identity system aimed to create a means of identifying individuals and their credit history to boost lending and encourage financial inclusion for the unbanked as well. Argentina is also partnering with Development Bank in a similar project as well.
These developments put humanity on a different path: one where people can determine how their information is used and one in which the power over people is broken and the state acts less like a bully. Unlike we have seen before now.