Indian municipalities are kicking off their own blockchain ID tests
With Aadhaar on the back end, India might have a solid future foundation for blockchain ID systems.
The Bankura and Durgapur municipalities in India's West Bengal region are both experimenting with blockchain in their own way, trialling a solution by blockchain ID firm Lynked.World.
And as is often the case when developing solutions for economically developing regions, the use of mobile apps is key.
India is in many ways the perfect landing ground for blockchain ID solutions, thanks in part to Aadhaar, one of today's digital wonders of the world. Aadhaar is India's national ID system and the largest biometric database in history. It has about 1.2 billion members, each of whom gets a 12-digit ID number that is tied to biometric information. It's considered proof of residency in India and is tied to the ability to access a range of government services.
But that's on the back end, and for many residents it's still just an ID card that needs to be held while standing in line for hours. With that foundation though, a way of going digital as well as mobile holds a lot of promise.
In the meantime, rollouts such as Lynked.World solutions are serving as a valuable proof of concept on a smaller scale.
"Specifically, universities and governments can utilize our framework in a customisable way, as seen with Bankura and Durgapur," explains Lynked.World CEO and founder Arun Kumar. "Identification systems run off of a fast verification that is configured on the Lynked.World platform, all unique to each institution. Users create a personal profile, enter information, match with a specific institution and can immediately autofill all required parameters after just one information input.
"The Lynked.World platform additionally utilizes customizable form configuration, meaning the possibilities for each form creation are endless in a sense," Kumar notes.
So if the app is being used to grant access to a certain building, it might confirm that they work there. If it needs to confirm that someone's a resident of India, it might verify them against Aadhaar.
For example, Kumar says, "buildings can utilise the technology to seamlessly log into a workplace or office building instead of using a keycard. All that’s required is a mobile phone, and all of the information is immediately logged when a member swipes in," Kumar says. "This increases efficiency, enables better cost allocations, and creates ease of access."
....on the blockchain
"Depending per entity creating a form, the parameters can be customized... This then enables the process for receiving digital certificates, as seen in the Bankura and Durgapur use cases, from any sort of institution or entity to be processed conveniently in a secure manner, leaving no trails of data which can be deemed vulnerable," Kumar says.
"Enabling it on blockchain allows for immutability as well; a user’s information cannot be faked."
The blockchain element is important, with the decentralisation and immutability creating new ways of protecting privacy and limiting abuse of the systems. Plus, arguably only a decentralised system is sufficiently immutable and resilient to protect something as important as one's own identity.
And convenience-wise, the benefits of having one's entire identity in the palm of one's hand, in a secure and safe way, probably shouldn't be underestimated.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VET, XLM, BTC and ADA.