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Blockchain Public Sector Use Case

12 November 2017

A-Trust GmbH starts a Blockchain Project for Austrian City Halls based on Nxt

A-Trust GmbH, Vienna, Austria

A-Trust is the entity responsible for providing the digital identity / citizenship on card and mobile/smart phone (Austrian Term = Handy) for the Austrian citizens. The digital citizenship enables access to almost all services offered by the Austrian Government simply by using a laptop or smartphone. The system provides digital signature functionality which enables users to sign contracts as a single person or using multiple signatures on one document. The digital signature has the same legal status as the handwritten equivalent.

A-Trust provides easy-to-use digital signature solutions

The so called Handy-Signatur®, provided by A-Trust GmbH, is a powerful tool. With nearly 1 million Handy-Signatur®-users all over Austria, the need for a secure authentication is growing. And there is more to come, since the introduction of eIDAS throughout Europe, the Handy-Signatur® is valid in all 28 EU countries.

In order to sign an application with your Handy-Signatur®, you log in with your mobile phone number and your signature-password. You will then receive a text message on your mobile phone with a benchmark for your explicit identification and a TAN-code. After typing the TAN-code and clicking the “Sign here” button, the work is done. You can also use an alternative way of replacing the TANs, by easily scanning a QR Code after logging in with the mobile phone number and the signature password.

A-Trust Nxt blockchain application

In 2017 creating a powerful and trustful application using blockchain technology seemed to be the perfect complement. A-Trust teamed up with Jelurida and the ANG (Ardor Nxt Group) to initiate an enterprise application based on the Nxt Blockchain technology which will enable Austrian municipalities to publish their announcements on a digital bulletin board created for this purpose.

At the moment municipalities in Austria publish their information for the citizens as hard copy, send them via newsletter systems and/or put them on websites, created by the municipals themselves. Although a majority of municipals are doing an excellent job regarding the information-flow to the citizens, the municipal information platform, created by A-Trust and based on nxt blockchain technology will help to take the process of citizenship-information to the next level. On the one hand citizens can easily crawl through the platform and get recent updates of activities not only of their main residence municipal, but also e.g. of their secondary residence. On the other hand municipal officials have a powerful tool to post the information on a save, immutable online storage with nearly no extra-efforts to take. This helps to store the valuable information for generations and, as said before, make it even easier for the citizens to find the information they are looking and waiting for.

From the municipals officers perspective, it can be said that thanks to the combination of the A-Trust citizenship identification system, the municipal platform will identify  the concerned municipal and the special rights associated with the specific account. So the information is credited, validated and secure.

The prototype is ready for December 2017 to be deployed, and A-Trust will start to use it with a small selection of Austrian municipalities.

Without no doubt, 2018 will be an exciting year in which we could see more public blockchain-based initiatives like this one. A-Trust has a lot more ideas how blockchain technology can help to improve electronic government in Austria even more.

Michael Butz, CEO of A-Trust:
We have monitored the blockchain space very carefully for the last two years. As a Qualified Trust Service Provider, acting for European citizens and the Austrian Government, we have to make our decisions with the highest amount of care. With Jelurida and the ANG we found trustworthy partners and an excellent developers community structure. Besides that, the environmental aspect of proof-of-stake algorithm, running without any interruption, is the third key factor which made us choose Nxt.

Lior Yaffe, Nxt core developer and co-founder of Jelurida B.V.:
We are excited to work with A-Trust to help bring the blockchain revolution to the area of electronic certificate and trust service providers. Our proof of stake blockchain technology is ideally suited to private blockchain applications which help solve identity management challenges.

About A-Trust GmbH:
Compliance, integrity and convenience have been the backbone of A-Trust since it was founded back in 2000. The company is a qualified trust service provider for electronic certificates and operates on the basis of the eIDAS Regulation. A-Trust is subject to periodic checks by the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR).