Can Digital Identity Solutions Benefit from Blockchain Technology?

What is blockchain technology used for?

Blockchain technology was first introduced as a technology for digital currencies, but recently new application areas are emerging. There are proposals to use blockchain technology for electronic voting and secure sharing of medical data. Besides, there is now a booming market of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) underpinned by blockchain technology.

A new field, which could also benefit from blockchain technology is digital identities. Resorting to blockchain-based digital identity frameworks would allow users greater control over their identity data, and at the same time offer a resilient and decentralised system without single points of failure.

Who was the seminar intended for?

Organised by the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) in collaboration with the Delft Blockchain Lab of the Dutch Delft University of Technology, the knowledge building seminar held today was intended for national authorities overseeing the trust services market and for authorities involved with digital identity schemes.

This seminar was organised in the context of ENISA’s support of the ENISA Article 19 Expert Group, a working group of national authorities supervising the trust service providers in the EU.  

What did the seminar focus on?

The seminar introduced the basic concept of blockchain technology, and explored its application in the area of trust services and electronic identification, making a comparison with traditional centralised hierarchical ones in terms of user control and single points of failure. The focus here was on advantages and disadvantages, potential abuse and misuse, potential impact on society and the economy as well as the issue of governance. 

The seminar concluded with an overview of several existing initiatives, such as the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI), Sovrin, and the TU Delft Trustchain. It also included an overview of real-life scenarios, such as controlling access to a construction site and the confirmation of diplomas by a university. 

About ENISA’s knowledge building seminars

This seminar is part of a broader series of knowledge building seminars that ENISA organises for national authorities in the EU on new technologies and the cybersecurity opportunities and risks associated with them. Previous seminars for authorities covered topics such as cloud security, internet backbone security and applications of cryptography.

Further information and background material

Building Trust in the Digital Era: ENISA boosts the uptake of the eIDAS regulation

16th Meeting of Article 19 Expert Group: Strengthening Security for e-Trust Services

Article 19 Expert Group Portal

ENISA Topic on Trust Service

Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions in the Internal Market (eIDAS)

Cybersecurity Act

Press Contact

For questions related to the press and interviews, please contact press (at) enisa.europa.eu.

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