Canada urges blockchain on for digital ID dream
The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) is calling for the nation to turn to blockchain and biometrics for a great leap in digital identification and the economy.
In a speech in Toronto attended by Bloomberg and other news outlets, CBA’s CEO Neil Parmenter says these technologies are needed to “unlock the full potential” of banking and the economy.
“We should be open to innovative identity verification methods like document review through a live video connection, use of blockchain, biometrics and other methods that have begun to see widespread adoption in other parts of the economy,” Parmenter comments. “These methods have the potential to prove a person’s identity more securely and accurately than showing physical identification.”
The CBA represents more than 60 domestic and foreign banks operating in Canada.
Its desire is for an end to paper-based processes and a move to a “federated model” of digital IDs that links federal and provincial systems and allows identity to be authenticated electronically.
The private sector needs to be involved and legislation must be passed to allow businesses and governments to accept digital IDs, the association says.
Bloomberg reminds us that Canada’s six-biggest banks, along with Desjardins Group and insurer Sun Life, have been working with SecureKey Technologies for more than two years on such a blockchain-based system called Verified.Me, though it has yet to be unveiled despite its earlier goal of being in place last year. SecureKey CEO Greg Wolfond says “this is definitely the year” for launching the system.
Way before the CBA chief spoke, and back in November 2018, the Bank of Canada, Bank of England and Monetary Authority of Singapore jointly revealed the potential and their increased interest in blockchain-fuelled payments.
Just a few days ago Canada was talking again – and asking for feedback – about open banking.