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Bitcoin-Friendly Swiss City Announces Ethereum Digital ID Pilot

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:58 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:58 PM

The city of Zug, commonly known as the ‘Crypto Valley’ for hosting a number of industry startups, has announced a new Ethereum-based identity service for residents.

Come September this year, residents of Zug will be use a mobile app to connect their identity with a cryptographic address on the Ethereum blockchain. Residents’ personal information will be secured on the blockchain when registering their identities on the app, developed by uPort  – a self-sovereign ID platform backed by Ethereum software developer ConsenSys.

Once verified by city officials, citizens will be to us the app for a number of urban services including fees collection, e-signatures and more. An early phase of the Ethereum digital ID pilot will test a consensus e-vote in spring 2018, according to an announcement  by the city of Zug.

In revealing the new project, Zug mayor Dolfi Müller stated:

We want a single electronic identity – a kind of digital passport – for all possible applications. And we do not want this digital ID Ito be centralized at the city, but on the blockchain.

The development of the Ethereum ID pilot also saw participation from the Institute of Financial Services Zug (IFZ) at the Lucerne University of Economics and Zurich-based tech firm ti&m.

Zug is quickly becoming a hub for digital currency and blockchain startups to set up shop in the lakeside city. “With [accepting] bitcoin, we’re sending a message,” said Müller last July after starting a pilot to accept the cryptocurrency as payment for municipal services.  The ensuing coverage of the city’s friendly embrace of bitcoin led to the Zug council deciding to continue accepting bitcoin payments following the pilot.

In March this year, a new non-profit digital currency and blockchain advocacy group launched in Zug, dubbed the ‘Crypto Valley Association’. The working group is notably backed by the government.

Zug City Square image from Shutterstock.