The Turkish government intends to integrate blockchain technology into the sign-in process for online public services. Turkish citizens will be verified when logging in to E-Devlet – the digital government portal used in Turkey to access various public services – using a blockchain-based digital identity.
This development comes after South Korea revealed last month that three-quarters of a million South Koreans are already using its blockchain-based national mobile digital identity system. Citizens are using digital identity for credentials like the mobile driving license (mDL), and people with a particular status in the country have digitalized their national ID. However, the system is not expected to be fully operational until 2024.
Interest in blockchain technology has developed consistently and quickly over the past several years, spurred on by its myriad advantages. One of its key applications is blockchain-based digital identity. The individual digital identity which is linked to websites becomes more crucial to govern and authenticate as business and communication shift to the digital realm. There are several problems with current identification systems (textual, biometric, etc.) as they are fragile, isolated, and prone to errors and theft. However, blockchain technology can address these problems and provide a consolidated source for asset and identity verification.
The vice president of Turkey, Fuat Oktay, made the announcement at the Digital Turkey 2023 event that users of e-wallet applications will be able to access blockchain-based digital identities. They described the blockchain-based application as a revolution for e-government initiatives and added that it would make online services safer and more accessible.
Fuat said, “With the login system that will work within the scope of the e-wallet application, our citizens will be able to enter the e-Devlet with a digital identity created in the blockchain network.”
Turkey has been actively pursuing blockchain-based projects in recent years. The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) announced in October that it will develop a digital central bank currency based on the blockchain (i.e., a central bank digital currency, or CBDC). In a news statement last month, the central bank reported that the first transactions involving the digital lira had been completed successfully. In addition, CBRT stated that it will carry out limited, closed-circuit pilot testing for the digital lira until the first quarter of 2023. Additionally, non-blockchain services such as Turkey’s Instant and Continuous Transfer of Funds (FAST) System and digital identification technologies will be connected with the digital lira.