More countries are turning to the use of blockchain technology as a platform to verify identities, and the country of Azerbaijan is the latest to do so. The country is reportedly on the verge of completing a blockchain-based digital identification system, which should be finished by the end of this year. According to the director of the information and technology department at the central bank of Azerbaijan, Farid Osmanov, this will mean that the new system will be implemented sometime in the first quarter of 2020.
The central bank introduced plans at the fourth International Banking Forum where they specifically addressed their goal of instituting such a syste, saying that this would help to protect personal data that was transferred between credit organizations while also greatly increasing the efficiency of these procedures.
Osmanov explained that the next step will be to switch to a remote opening of accounts for all corporate businesses, individuals, and other legal entities. “Other banking services will follow, and at the final stage it is planned to automate the monitoring of funds aimed at financing terrorism and money laundering,” a representative for the central bank explained. “The direct result of all this will be the transition of the CBA to open banking.”
Azerbaijan is not the first to recognize how effective this technology will be in enhancing the overall efficiency and security of its systems. In October, 30 firms in South Korea partnered to help develop a system to verify the identity of individuals applying for loans or who were setting up bank accounts. This system was also developed using blockchain technology as well.
This was a rather sophisticated system, using a decentralized identities system (DiDs), which would allow users to be able to connect directly to their accounts using their smartphone devices. It was hoped that this would speed up the process for most consumers, as it would take nothing more than a couple of clicks for them to gain access into their accounts.
Azerbaijan appears to be wanting to create a similar type of system. The central bank has recognized that a blockchain-based platform would be the perfect solution, working to try to such a system since 2018. This led to a program, the “State Program on Expansion of Digital Payments for 2018-2020,” which brought together a number of firms and agencies to coordinate on exactly how to develop this new system.
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