Dubbed by many as the Crypto Valley, Zug has been at the forefront of blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption in Switzerland and even around the world. It houses over 450 blockchain-linked organizations and startups as well as the Ethereum Foundation. In general, Switzerland is known for its generous tax treatment and regulations for blockchain startups with Zug, in particular, having the reputation of a tax haven. This is one of the main reasons driving blockchain organizations to the region.
Zug Government Embraces Blockchain Identity Solution
Although Zug host many blockchain organizations, the government herself is not left out of the blockchain frenzy. For example, the Zug government allows bitcoin to be used for certain government payments. The government recently embraced a blockchain identity solution for use on a large scale.
Zug partnered with uPort, an ethereum based decentralized identity platform to develop the first autonomous government allotted identity in the world. The partnership involves the platform integrator TI&M and Lucerne University’s Institute for Financial Services Zug. The platform went through pilot testing in the summer of 2017, and it was utilized to register citizens’ identities. The program was launched in November of that same year.
The identity model brought forward by uPort gives the identity’s ownership back to the people by giving them control over their identity. They are able to register their identity on their own on the Ethereum network. Likewise, they can manage their data and keys safely and securely on the platform open identity framework.
How the Platform Works
The Zug government has its own identity established on the Ethereum chain, which equips them with the ability to verify and sign data. The city clerk is given access to the Zug identity; they, in turn, utilize their uPort identity that has certain administrative rights.
On the part of the citizens who are the users, they just need to download the uPort ID application. Then the application will create a unique private key specific to each individual’s identity. On someone’s personal smartphone it serves as the user’s identity agent. The citizens can back up their private key. This enables them to gain access back to their identity in case of phone loss or theft. This gives them complete control of their identity and linked information.
The process is completed by registering on the Zug city e-government platform where certain data are collected. The data are signed cryptographically to obtain a new Zug digital ID. The applicant is then asked to visit the citizen registration office in person for verification of the details. As soon as details are verified, the applicant is given a certifiable credential. This in turnwhich holds his or her Zug Digital Identity. With the Zug ID, residents can access various services such as voting using their ID.
The End Result: Safe and Secure Exchange of Data
In the pilot phase, 350 citizens registered and generated a digital ID. Out of which 70 of them took part in a voting process concerning a festival. This avoids the stress and cost of going to the polling unit. The ID made it possible to check out those that voted without depending on the vote-counting setup or agents. This identity solution is projected to help the city save costs and improve productivity.