Argentina’s capital pioneers blockchain in government IDs – Cryptopolitan


  • Buenos Aires is set to roll out a blockchain-based digital ID wallet, Quarkid, starting in October. The wallet will allow citizens to store and manage their birth and marriage certificates, among other documents.
  • The technology behind the Quarkid wallet is Zksync Era, an Ethereum Layer 2 protocol that ensures privacy and confidentiality. Extrimian, the company behind Quarkid, plans to expand this service across Argentina.
  • The digital ID wallet aims to simplify interactions between citizens and government services, with plans to include additional features like proof-of-income and academic verification. A roadmap for countrywide expansion is expected by the end of 2023.

The Argentinian capital, Buenos Aires, has made waves by announcing the forthcoming launch of a blockchain-based digital ID wallet called Quarkid. This digital wallet is geared to empower its citizens, granting them full control over their data. Using Zksync Era—a zero-knowledge Ethereum L2 protocol—Quarkid aims to set new standards in data privacy.

Created in collaboration with Extrimian, a local blockchain service company, Quarkid is more than just a wallet. It’s a blueprint for secure and efficient interaction between a government and its people. Guillermo Villanueva, the CEO of Extrimian, regards this initiative as a significant step towards enhancing the effectiveness of government services across Latin America.

Document accessibility and expansion plans

Scheduled to roll out this month, Quarkid will initially allow Buenos Aires residents to securely store vital documents like birth and marriage certificates. Moreover, a November update will add features like proof of income and academic verification. Eventually, the local government plans to offer this service to over 2.5 million residents, according to Diego Fernandez, Secretary of Innovation of Buenos Aires.

While the initial focus is on basic documents, the roadmap extends far beyond Buenos Aires. Plans are afoot to roll this technology out across Argentina, encompassing its entire population of 45 million. Additionally, Quarkid could serve as a model for other Latin American nations, elevating regional digital identity practices and security standards.

However, the development has not occurred in isolation. On a related note, Argentine officials are investigating another digital ID initiative, Worldcoin, which has faced scrutiny over data privacy concerns in Europe and Africa.

Despite these challenges, Buenos Aires is marching ahead with its vision. The city aims to become a beacon in implementing blockchain technology for the public good, drawing attention from governments worldwide.

While the project initially covers basic identity documents, the local government’s ambitions stretch further. Later updates will include health data and payment management features, providing an all-in-one solution for Buenos Aires residents. According to the official announcement, an expansive roadmap will be released by the end of 2023, laying out the path for a countrywide rollout of this groundbreaking technology.

Hence, the Quarkid project in Buenos Aires represents a watershed moment in the application of blockchain for governance. While data privacy and user ownership are focal points, the initiative also holds the promise of revolutionizing how governments and citizens interact. By creating an environment where privacy is respected and data ownership is returned to the individual, Buenos Aires is not just embracing blockchain technology; it is reshaping the concept of digital citizenship in the 21st century.

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