Buenos Aires Adopts Blockchain for Digital IDs

The project uses Extrimian's QuarkID digital identity protocol and zkSync Era, an Ethereum scaling protocol.

Buenos Aires Adopts Blockchain for Digital IDs
Buenos Aires Adopts Blockchain for Digital IDs

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is making significant progress toward incorporating blockchain technology into its bureaucracy.

The city’s 15 million residents will have access to identity documents via a digital wallet beginning in October, according to an announcement made on September 28.

The first documents to be accessible on-chain are birth and marriage certificates, as well as proof of income and academic credentials.

The announcement notes that health data and payment administration will be integrated in the future and that by the end of 2023, a national rollout strategy for the blockchain-based solution will be established.

Behind the project’s infrastructure is Extrimian’s QuarkID, a digital identity protocol. zkSync Era, an Ethereum scaling protocol utilizing zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups), powers QuarkID wallets.

The technology enables one party to demonstrate to another that a statement is true without disclosing specific details about the statement.

This is a monumental step towards a safer and more efficient future for government services in Latin America, according to the CEO of Extrimian, Guillermo Villanueva.

The data held in the wallets will be autonomous, allowing citizens to control the delivery of their credentials when interacting with the government, businesses, and other individuals.

zkSync Era will serve as the settlement layer for QuarkID, ensuring that every citizen possesses the appropriate credentials.

The government of Argentina and the city of Buenos Aires envisage their digital identity framework as a public good. According to Diego Fernandez, Buenos Aires’ secretary of innovation, Argentine officials are investigating a comparable initiative in the country, the digital ID project Worldcoin.

Local authorities disclosed an investigation into Worldcoin’s collection, storage, and use of client data in August due to privacy concerns.

“With this development, Buenos Aires becomes the first city in Latin America, and one of the first in the world, to integrate and promote this new technology and set the standard for how other countries in the region should use blockchain technology for the benefit of their people.”

Europe and Africa have also scrutinized Worldcoin since its global debut in July. The initiative, founded by OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman, collects retinal scans to verify users.