Canada’s biggest banks bet on Blockchain-based Digital Identity

The nationwide service – based on IBM Blockchain tech – may be the most significant use case of the stuff in the country so far

Posted 2 May 2019 at 8:38am by

A Blockchain-based Digital Identity network endorsed by the top five banks in Canada – Verified.Me – went live this week, with more public and private sector backers said to be lining up on the sidelines.

At launch, there are two services available to locals using the service – one to register for its insurance products and another to gain access to your Equifax credit score over the Web.

Local financial services heavyweights CIBC, Desjardins, RBC, Scotiabank, and TD have all said they’ll back the system, while BMO (Bank of Montreal) and the National Bank of Canada will launch the service in the near future, according to a report in IT World Canada.

The move is significant for this market as banks play a key role in the identity authentication service provided, requiring that users sign-on to a special portal with their online banking credentials, while the associated Verified.Me app’s multi-factor verification system uses biometrics and wireless carrier information about personal handsets.

“We want to be able to prove who we are and stop the bad people from impersonating us,” the vendor that put together the system, SecureKey Technologies, told the news site.

However, Verified.Me is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, and in turn on the Open Source Hyperledger Fabric v1.2, and promises to be interoperable with other Hyperledger projects.

Also named as partners are the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Global Privacy and Security by Design, and Prodigy Labs.