Swiss Railways Completes Proof-of-Concept of Blockchain-based Identity Management System

Swiss Federal Railways’ (SBB) has recently completed a proof of concept (PoC) of a blockchain-based identity management system. The pilot project strives to increase the efficiency of manual, paper-based processes with blockchain-based digital and audit-proof solutions.

As per the press release shared with Cointelegraph, tests for the blockchain-backed identity management system for workers employed at the company’s construction sites were carried out from May to November. SBB was actually looking for a simple solution to verify the identity of a worker, verify their credentials, and to record this in a tamper-proof ledger. This is how the blockchain pilot evolved.

Daniele Pallecchi, spokesperson of the Swiss Federal Railways, informed CoinDesk via an email that construction sites on the SBB network often involve third parties. With the aim to maintain high security within the network, some strict requirements are to be fulfilled by the personnel.

Linum Labs, a Switzerland-based firm focused on building decentralized systems has developed this product of the SBB. The system is developed in part by blockchain incubator ConsenSys and deployed on the Ethereum-based identity management protocol uPort.

In the proof-of-concept, workers created their digital identities in the uPort app on their mobile devices, and SBB issued them certificates after they went through appropriate training.

The workers then used these digital IDs while signing in and out of construction sites where they worked. To enter the site, a worker would need to scan a QR code from the app on his cellphone. The system confirmed workers’ presence at construction sites, as well as certified their training.

A Linum Labs’ blog post elaborated saying, “A self-sovereign blockchain based identity is well-suited for this use case because workers should be able to carry over their identity from one company to another and no specific company should own or manage it. In addition, there are multiple companies and parties issuing certificates.”

The blog post further added, “Using uPort, railway workers, certification authorities and supervisors are able to have their own unique digital identities linked to their respective uPort ID’s, which is then anchored to an identity on the blockchain. A hash of the worker’s check-in/check-out activities is published to the blockchain so that the internal database can be audited.”

Recently, there have been quite a few developments which saw the integration of blockchain technology in the transportation sector.

In September, Lloyd’s Register (LR), a British tech and business maritime classification society, developed a blockchain-backed class register of ships. LR’s new class register is reportedly the first demonstrator that can register ships into Class by implementing blockchain technology.

Back in May, Swissport, an airport ground handling and cargo company in Switzerland, announced a blockchain pilot program for its cargo handling business in partnership with Olam, a non-profit organization aiming to develop an open source platform for supply chain partners.

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