Swiss Federal Railway To Try Blockchain Solution For Employee Certifications
The Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) recently explored a blockchain solution that addressed employee certification for those working on railway tracks. Currently, the record keeping process involves multiple parties making entries and railway inspectors recording inspection processes using paper.
These complexities and inefficiencies created an ideal opportunity for a blockchain pilot. A self-sovereign blockchain based identity is well-suited for this use case because workers should be able to carry over their identity from one company to another and no specific company should own or manage it.
In addition, there are multiple companies and parties issuing certificates.
A small dedicated team co-designed a solution that provided real business value using uPort. It was aimed at examining a possible resolution to established worker credentials. They revealed a proof of concept system within just 5 weeks of development. It is an open source project which can be used with no license fees and is operable on the Ethereum testnet.
The overall design goals of the trial were to:
- Ensure a mobile user interface (UI) and good user experience (UX) to achieve real adoption beyond a pilot.
- Be interoperable with external partners of SBB and to achieve adoption beyond the pilot.
- Be open-source to achieve network effects and buy-in from the blockchain ecosystem.
- Be interoperable and in compliance with GDPR and other data privacy laws.
This pilot could be a part of the broader Swiss ID and digital identity discussion in Switzerland and serve as a model use case for issuing and verifying all types of organizational credentials. A fascinating part was how quickly the pilot was able to be developed and tested in real-world scenarios thanks to a multitude of tools and open systems that are available.
Swiss Federal Railway and Linum Labs hope that the various components of this work can be fully open sourced in order to spur exploration of different use cases that build on the same simple interaction design: an authority issues a credential to an individual, which can be easily and securely verified with a tamper-proof log.
This could be applied from employees checking into worksites across the world, to the issuance or verification of driver’s licenses or university degrees. If you are interested in seeing how the platform works, you can watch the video here.