Blockchain is reaching out into new markets and applications almost weekly, and a recent discussion about the platform from Australia Post Accelerator, the country’s leading provider of identity verification services, has shown yet another important area where the technology is being adopted. The proposal to utilize the blockchain technology for identity verification and other secure online government activity makes use of the benefits of the system, high security and the two-key structure, to provide infrastructure that will allow a simpler verification process while giving individuals increased control over their personal data.
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Australia Post Accelerator is the incubation arm of Australia Post and verifies the identity of individuals for both government agencies and corporations. As it verifies around 25% of the population each year, it is a significant stakeholder in the identity verification process throughout Australia and across the world and as such its direction with regard to technology is an important indicator for where many verification providers are potentially moving in the future.
A recent talk by Australia Post Accelerator partner, Rick Wingfield, revealed that not only are they looking to blockchain as the basis for future verification technology, but that talks about the platform’s viability have been ongoing between providers right around the world. The idea is that blockchain can assist in the digitization of a person’s identification verification, removing the endless paperwork that is currently involved.
This digitization could, he argues, crate more control for the individual in terms of access and use of personal data. The two key infrastructure on blockchain can jointly encrypt that data with the government or corporate entity that owns the data, so it can only be unlocked with the use of both keys. This means that everyone using personal data will inherently require that individual’s permission before they can access it, making it much more difficult to abuse.
Blockchain’s public ledger also offers a much simpler accreditation process for confirming certain details, such as valid driving license ownership, insurance and so on, while the combination of these secure and verifiable data, in combination with the anonymity possible using blockchain, could also make it the perfect platform for online voting. Indeed, the anonymity available through such a system is much more robust than any current alternative, and could be the breakthrough technology for digitizing the democratic process.
The work being done here signifies that blockchain and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole has the potential to change how we interact with the digital realm, and bring the democratic process into the 21st century adding much needed ease of entry and vastly improved security with it. As blockchain begins to show its potential, the digital currency industry is becoming more influential along with it, and that could have a dramatic effect over time.