The projects that are being conducted in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia, among other countries in the region

On April 23rd, a study written in Spanish, that aims at compiling and publicizing the initiatives on decentralized digital identity that are being conducted in Latin American countries, was presented. This work was sponsored by the Blockchain Iberoamerica Alliance, Blockchain Spain, and the organization of self-sovereign digital identity SSIMeetup.

The ecosystem of decentralized digital identity in the Ibero-American world, by Lucas Carmona and Alex Preukschat, compiles a list of initiatives and use cases that approach the area in a novel way, with the support of crypto asset or blockchain technology. This written report describes the projects conducted in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Other countries were not included because they had no projects on the study topic.

Regarding the activity related to self-sovereign identity (SSI), Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico are said to be the countries in Latin America with the largest number of cases of decentralized digital identity. In the specific case of Brazil, three important projects are mentioned: Identity Tech, BlockIoT and eID +. These are initiatives that offer DLT services in the field of digital identity, both within the public and private sectors.

Argentina has initiatives such as the DIDI project, led by the Bitcoin Argentina Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Buenos Aires. Meanwhile, in Colombia an outstanding effort has been made by the IDEMA to digitize the National Civil Registration and Identification processes since 2017. In Mexico, the “Tecnológico de Monterrey” initiative is introduced, which develops a case of decentralized digital identity use in education.

In the Iberian Peninsula, the variety of solutions that advance in Spain are shown, led by Alastria ID, as well as other constructions on public blockchain platform, such as Ethereum. Services are added on identity platforms, research projects with public financing and use cases in educational institutions.

On Decentralized Digital Identity

In the prologue of the publication it is explained that the digital identity is one of the most widely explored topics today, under the label of “self-sovereign identity” (SSI). It is conceived as the set of own data and features that distinguish some individuals from others.

Currently, there are a series of models and technological solutions for managing and processing this personal information, which are run in both centralized and decentralized nodes. In this last modality exploration is being conducted with distributed accounting technology (DLT). These blockchain systems of sovereign identity use Blockchain to register decentralized identifiers (DID), which can be accessed without the need of a central directory.

In order to write the report, the authors established differences between various types of projects. In this way, those that operate as authentication solutions that use blockchain technology or aspire to be decentralized were evaluated. Similarly, those that use SSI platforms such as uPort, Sovrin, Learning Machine or Veres.One were studied.

Also considered are the initiatives that aspire to be SSI platforms, mainly concentrated in Spain, in addition to those that use solutions based on SSI platforms to bring digital identity to use cases. In many of them, functionalities related to blockchain technology are implemented, dispensing with SSI standards.

By Willmen Blanco


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