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I am a very beginner in blockchain, in fact I just have a few hours reading about blockchain, bitcoin, ethereum, etc, so if this question does not belong here or makes no sense please let me know.

One of our customers (a city town hall), they want all Students from the city to have an APP on their phone that would work as an identification system. There are 600.000 students on the city, and every student would have the app installed.

The purpose is that the students can be recognized everywhere:} 1. If they go to a library, they can use the app to borrow a book. 2. If the police stops them for random checking, then they can identify themselves

For some reasons they asked this to be implemented with blockchain.

  1. Does this makes sense?
  2. If it does, what documentation can I read about? I see that blockchain is more about transactions between Peers, but it looks like our APP is not about transactions but more about identification of the people.

any reading suggested is welcome

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Take a look at uPort by Consensys. They are still in testing mode, but they've been working on this for a while.

I would advise strongly against underestimating the amount of work involved in making a Blockchain based identity solution secure. It's super hard.

Not affiliated with uPort, by the way.

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Ethereum, or any blockchain, on its own will not provide a good identity system for individuals.

Ethereum 'accounts' are quite a bit different than the normal accounts we might normally be used to.

  • There are no sign up forms.
  • There is no initial verification required to make or use an account.
  • There is no separation between "username" and "password".
  • Ethereum accounts are not even limited to only be used by people! (Robots could have an Ethereum address too!)

So alone, the blockchain is not so great. That doesn't mean we are hopeless. I think the best work in this space is related to hybrid solutions, where users sign up to a centralized identity system and then tie that account to a specific Ethereum address, allowing them to also use that Ethereum address as their identity when needed.

Using a signed message, you can verify that a particular user owns an Ethereum address, and using OAuth 2, you can securely link that a particular Ethereum address to a centralized identity.

Some of these ideas have been implemented using a proposed standard: ERC 725.

You can also check out an implementation of this standard here: https://medium.com/originprotocol/managing-identity-with-a-ui-for-erc-725-5c7422b38c09

This is not a trivial task to take on, especially if you cannot afford to be wrong, but Identity is one of the more hot topics in the Ethereum space right now, and I would guess that the topology will be changing quite dramatically in the near future.

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