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Swiss City Announces Plan to Verify IDs Using Ethereum

A Swiss city known for its cryptocurrency startup ecosystem is launching a new ethereum-based identity service.

The City of Zug announced today that, starting in September, it will offer digital identity services through a new app, connecting a person's ID with a particular crypto-address. Local citizens can register and get verified by city officials.

Zug is pursuing the effort in part due past efforts to create digital identity solutions using centralized means. Those solutions proved to be "relatively complicated in application and are already technically considered obsolete today", according to translated statements.

On the technology side, the app will leverage the uPort identity platform created by ethereum development community ConsenSys. Also involved on the development front is the Swiss startup ti&m and the Lucerne University of Economics.

Dolfi Müller, Zug's president, said of the project:

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

Müller added that Zug plans to hold a consultative vote on electronic ballot access, expected to take place next spring.

The city has become a major hub for digital currency and blockchain startups, buoyed by a proactive government that has sought to attract more startups to Switzerland.

Map image via Shutterstock

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