Investec, an international specialist banking and asset management group, has partnered with South African automated clearing house BankservAfrica and identity platform Uport to demonstrate a blockchain-based digital identity system.
The digital identity system prototype, which Investec believes could enhance trust and security in South Africa’s financial system, was born in the digital identity working group of the SA Financial Blockchain Consortium (SAFBC), and was demonstrated at the Blockchain Africa conference in Johannesburg.
The prototype, built on etherem blockchain, reportedly allowed conference attendees to create individual digital identities by downloading the uPort application on their mobile devices. The attendees were able to move between vendor stands and check-in by simply scanning QR codes. Vendor were able to confirm the attendee’s visit by automatically issuing them an attendance credential and associating it with the specific attendee’s identity profile. After completing a certain number of check-ins at different vendors, the sytem allowed attendees to unlock rewards.
According to Investec, the prototype allows individuals to register a universal, reusable and encrypted identity. The company added that the system is comparable to a Facebook account, where a user can give other entities approval, with the click of a mouse, to integrate with their Facebook login and then access personal information, such as name, friend lists and contact information.
“This identity has no restrictions on who or what can integrate with it, so it has many other applications and can be enhanced by any other entities the user has a relationship with,” said Graham Nelson, Investec’s blockchain engineer. “As the data is encrypted, it prevents entities from selling a user’s personal data to other third parties without permission. It makes large-scale data hacks a thing of the past.”
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