Why Blockchain on the Move?
The ‘Blockchain on the Move’ project aims to return control to citizens over their identity data. Currently, information about citizens is stored in central databases managed by various organizations, often without the citizen having any control over the accuracy or usage of that data. With Self-Sovereign Identity or SSI, that can be realized with the help of blockchain technology.
The City of Antwerp, the Flemish Government and V-ICT-OR are taking the lead in Europe and working in ‘Blockchain on the Move’ together with private and international partners.
A bit about blockchain
The protection and management of one’s personal data is becoming increasingly important in the digital world. One way to address this concern is to give people control over their own data. Individuals can then decide for themselves how, when, to whom, and for how long to share information.
Blockchain is a technology that makes it possible to store this data in a decentralized manner — with the individual, rather than in a central database — and also to share information decentrally with third parties. This not only means that no intermediary or authority is involved, but also that only those who have the correct key can open the ‘lock’ and access or use certain data. Moreover, blockchain offers the guarantee that the data is correct and that it has not been accidentally or deliberately altered.
‘Blockchain on the Move’ is supported by the Flemish Government within the Programme for Innovation Procurement (PIP) and is a consortium with the City of Antwerp, Digipolis, the Flemish Administration and V-ICT-OR as project partners and Jolocom, the technical partner selected via a market consultation. The consortium wants to use this project to demonstrate that blockchain technology is now sufficiently developed to be used in real situations, such as change of address.
Rolling Out Blockchain on the Move
Earlier this year, the project partners launched a market survey to find a supplier who could build a software application for digital identity and sharing identity data. Jolocom, a Berlin-based startup specialized in this domain, was selected to develop the Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) software as a first building block. The rollout of ‘Blockchain on the Move’ takes place in 4 phases:
- The first, current phase focuses on the development of an application for SSI based on blockchain. In practice, this will be an app with which citizens can manage and share their data via their smartphones. This phase runs until the end of February 2019.
- In the second phase (mid-2019), a first use case will be developed within the ‘self-managed identity’ module from phase one, more specifically the relocation process (change address).
- In a third phase (late 2019), the ‘self-managed identity‘ module will be integrated within the architecture and systems of the different partners involved.
- In the final phase (beginning of 2020) the building block will also be made available to other authorities and private organizations so that they can use these in their processes.
At the end of phases 1 and 3, workshops will be organized for citizens, governments and companies — the future user groups — to present the project and brainstorm about SSI application possibilities. They will be able to use the application in real conditions and provide feedback.
More information about the Blockchain on the Move partners:
As ICT service provider for the city of Antwerp and coordinator of this project, Digipolis has for years been involved in innovative digital government services. The ACPaaS platform for microservices offered by Digipolis for microservices embeds this innovation in the core of public services.
The City of Antwerp
The City of Antwerp is the smart city of Flanders thanks to its collaborations with innovative knowledge and technology partners and the development of a testing ground for smart ‘Internet of Things’ technology. Antwerp is therefore an attractive city for developers of connected technology and software. ‘Blockchain on the Move’ is just one of many partnerships in which the city is involved in the digitization of its services.
“Through smart technology, Antwerp can become a more mobile and sustainable city for its residents and businesses, where user-friendly digital interactions, greater autonomy and less administration are central. Projects such as Blockchain on the Move, in which citizens can manage their own data and their interactions with the city in a simple and secure manner, are central to that ambition,” explains mayor Bart De Wever.
AIV (Flemish Information Agency) and AFB (Agency for Facility Services) are participating in this project for the Flemish Government. ‘Blockchain on the Move’ is supported by the Flemish Government within the framework of the Programme for Innovation Procurement (PIP).
“As identity provider of the Flemish government, we ensure that this project takes into account and connects with the government’s ‘electronic identity‘ schemes, so we stay in close contact with the Belgian federal services: the Belgian National Register, the federal authentic source for identity of citizens and the Federal Authentication Service,” confirms Daniel Du Seuil, project manager Blockchain at Flanders Information Agency.
V-ICT-OR is the Flemish ICT organization for local authorities and has the role of project manager and communications in this project. In part thanks to experience in the practical development of digitization processes for cities and municipalities, V-ICT-OR is also the preferred organizational implementation partner once the developed technology has been thoroughly tested.
“The ambitions for this project are high, this time we leave the ‘proof of concepts’ behind us and go for real implementation as the final objective of the project. That is why we start today with the establishment of a consortium of local authorities and private organizations interested in implementing the results and knowledge of this project in their daily activities,” says Eddy Van der Stock, Chairman of V-ICT-OR.
Jolocom, a startup based in Berlin, builds ‘open source’ software for decentralized identity and access management with a focus on privacy, security, and interoperability. The company was selected to develop the ‘Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) Building Block’ during the first phase, which will run until the end of February 2019.
“The Jolocom team is on a mission to build a better system for identity management, a system that allows individuals, organisations, and smart agents to own & control their identity information and data. The opportunity to contribute to the first phase of ‘Blockchain on the Move’ together with the project partners is a huge motivation for us,” says Joachim Lohkamp, founder and CEO of Jolocom.
Contact Blockchain on the Move
BotM Project Manager
T +32 496 564360
Eddy Van der Stock
T +32 477 32 26 16
T +32 3 338 76 30
The City of Antwerp — Innovation and Technology Department
T +32 478 79 67 18
Flemish Government — Flanders Information Agency
Daniel Du Seuil
T +32 485 70 50 25
Flemish Government — Agency for Facility Services
T +32 494 76 15 38
Read this release in Dutch on the Flemish Government website.