Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is taking a major step towards integrating its bureaucracy with blockchain technology. Starting in October, residents of the city will be able to access their identity documents through a digital wallet. This includes birth and marriage certificates, proof of income, and academic verification. The city plans to integrate health data and payment management in the future, with a roadmap for expanding the blockchain-based solution across the country by the end of 2023.
The project is powered by QuarkID, a digital identity protocol developed by Web3 firm Extrimian. QuarkID wallets use zkSync Era, an Ethereum scaling protocol that employs zero-knowledge rollups. This technology allows one party to verify the truth of a statement without revealing any specific information about the statement itself.
Buenos Aires has teamed up with QuarkID to issue digital identification services to millions of its citizens, with zkSync Era serving as the blockchain anchor for the program. The initiative is seen as a monumental step towards a safer and more efficient future for government services in Latin America by Guillermo Villanueva, CEO of Extrimian. Citizens will have self-sovereign control over their data stored in the wallets and can manage the delivery of their credentials when interacting with the government, businesses, and individuals.
The Argentine government and the City of Buenos Aires consider the digital identity framework to be a public good. They hope to set an example for other countries in the region on how to utilize blockchain technology for the benefit of their citizens. Diego Fernandez, Buenos Aires’ secretary of innovation, states that the city is the first in Latin America and one of the first in the world to embrace and promote this new technology.
In addition to this initiative, Argentine officials are also investigating another digital ID project called Worldcoin. This project is facing privacy concerns related to its collection, storage, and use of customer data. Worldcoin, founded by Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, is under scrutiny in Europe and Africa since its global launch in July. It uses retinal scans for user verification.
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