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Swiss city of Zug to offer blockchain-based digital identity to residents

The city of Zug in Switzerland announced that it is the first community to offer all citizens of the city the opportunity to get a blockchain-based digital identity.

The digital ID is based on an app that utilizes blockchain technology to secure personal information and associate it with a crypto address, the release said. With the digital ID, the residents can register their identity independently on the app and the identity is verified by the ID control of the town of Zug.

Last year the city of Zug’s pilot bitcoin project kicked-off allowing residents to pay their fees in digital currency bitcoin. With the pilot project, Zug also known as ‘Crypto Valley’ has become the first locality in the world to accept bitcoin payments.

“We want a single electronic identity - a kind of digital passport - for all possible applications. And we do not want this digital ID to be centralized at the city, but on the blockchain. We only verify and confirm the identity of a person,” Dolfi Müller, the city’s president, said (loosely translated). “Applications should not be limited to urban services such as fee collection or room rental. In the first phase, a consultative vote on ‘e-voting’ will be held, which is expected to take place in the spring of 2018.”

The ID project is based on Ethereum blockchain and the project saw participation from the Institute for Financial Services Zug (IFZ) of Lucerne University of Economics, as well as Consensys-uPort (Zug) and ti & m (Zurich).

“Today, our digital identity still lies with major search engines and social networks that profit from it. A self-managed, secure and certified identity is indispensable for the functioning of an increasingly digital society. For the Crypto Valley Zug, we believe in collaboration with research, industry, and government agencies,” Mathias Bucher, lecturer at the IFZ / Lucerne University of Applied Sciences, emphasized (loosely translated).

The city of Zug stated that it wants to gain more experience with blockchain applications and that it is expected to hold e-voting consensus amongst its residents in spring 2018.

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