Buenos Aires, often viewed as the heart of Argentina, has taken a significant leap forward in modernizing its government services. Starting in October, the city will introduce a blockchain-based digital ID wallet, Quarkid. Previously known as Tangoid, this self-sovereign wallet enables citizens to have complete control over their data. The wallet will initially allow users to store basic documents like birth and marriage certificates.
The technology behind Quarkid is as fascinating as it is practical. It utilizes Zksync Era, a zero-knowledge Ethereum L2 protocol. Consequently, this adds an additional layer of privacy and confidentiality for the users. The wallet comes as a collaborative effort with Extrimian, an institutionally focused blockchain services company in Argentina.
Quarkid’s future plans
Moreover, this is not just a one-off initiative. The Buenos Aires government has ambitious plans for Quarkid. By November, the wallet’s features will expand to include other essential documents like proof-of-income and academic verification. At the close of the year, the government will lay out a roadmap for broadening its services to over 2.5 million citizens. Ultimately, Quarkid aims to reach all 45 million Argentine citizens and potentially extend its service to other markets in Latin America.
Diego Fernandez, the Secretary of Innovation in Buenos Aires, underscored the monumental nature of this move. According to him, Buenos Aires sets a new standard for the application of blockchain technology in governmental procedures. This endeavor paves the way for other countries in the region to adopt such cutting-edge technology for the greater benefit of their populations.
Additionally, the Quarkid wallet is expected to act as a catalyst for similar initiatives. It allows for greater flexibility and control for citizens when interacting with the government, businesses, and other individuals. Significantly, all data within the wallet will be self-sovereign. Hence, citizens can manage their credentials efficiently, bolstering transparency and streamlining interactions.
Guillermo Villanueva, the CEO of Extrimian, added weight to these developments. He stated that the implementation of Quarkid symbolizes a safer and more efficient future for government services in Latin America. This echoes the broader sentiment around the transformative potential of blockchain technology.
While the initiative is path-breaking, it’s crucial to note that it also comes under the shadow of broader digital identity questions. For instance, the Worldcoin project, which uses retinal scans for verification, is under scrutiny for its data collection methods both in Argentina and globally. However, the Quarkid wallet sidesteps such controversies by putting data control directly in the hands of the citizens.
By integrating blockchain technology so intricately into its governance model, Buenos Aires has shown that the city is not just a cultural hub but also a technological frontrunner. This move is a clear indicator that Buenos Aires is committed to its citizens’ welfare, setting an example not just for Argentina but for the entire Latin American region.