Illinois Government Pilots Blockchain Technology for Birth Certificate Digitization

The state government of Illinois has started testing a Blockchain-based system for the digitization of birth certificates. They are conducting the pilot project in collaboration with Blockchain identity startup Evernym.

According to Illinois’ Blockchain business liaison officer Jennifer O’Rourke, the platform that is being developed could eventually lead to the creation of a comprehensive identity tool-set that an individual can use in the long term. O’Rourke says:

“In this pilot, businesses and governments would be able to verify and authenticate a citizen’s identity by requesting encrypted access to verifiable claims.”

Goals/objectives of the program

In the pilot program, the partners will develop and test Blockchain-based tools that will enable parents and doctors who are present during the time of birth to officially log or register the birth on a permissioned Blockchain. The tools being tested were based on the work done by a task force within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

The pilot project is part of the state’s Illinois Blockchain Initiative, whose aims include the creation of a more welcoming environment for Blockchain firms in the state and the elimination of barriers for the government to build with Blockchain. Among the partner agencies of the initiative are the State Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), the Department of Insurance (DOI), and the Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT).

Under the proposed framework, state agencies will be able to verify a person’s registration data at birth, as well as cryptographically sign information related to an individual’s name, date of birth, blood type, and others. The information will then be stored on a tamper-proof distributed ledger that can only be accessed if authorized by a legal guardian until the individual becomes a legal adult.