A tech startup building on the Ardor blockchain has received a tranche of a $26M Covid-19 grant awarded by government ministries. A-Trust GmbH, the Austrian Trust Center which manages the digital identity of Austrian citizens, is the recipient of a €60,000 grant for developing QualiSig. The project is led by Alexander Pfeiffer and Thomas Wernbacher, blockchain specialists who are associated with Donau Universität Krems.
A-Trust’s blockchain-based solution establishes the legal validity of digital signatures, and plays a pivotal role in Covid-19 tracing apps created by governments and which require communication with the general population. It’s part of the ‘Proof of Health’ movement in which citizens who can establish that they are free of Covid-19, utilizing track and trace technology, are granted freedom of movement and association.
Jelurida to Assist With Implementing QualiSig on Ardor
Jelurida, the software development company that maintains the Ardor and Nxt blockchains, will support A-Trust with building out its solution in a consultancy capacity. Ignis, a child chain of Ardor, will be used to develop a market-ready prototype, with blockchain used to store encrypted data. A-Trust’s solution has a number of applications in tackling Covid-19 including verifying the identity of testers attending households to check for cases of infection. Citizens will be able to use A-Trust’s signature verification technology to establish the tester’s credentials by scanning a barcode that has been signed by the testing agency, verifying that it has not been tampered with in any way.
Although intended to be piloted in Austria initially, A-Trust’s technology is compatible with eIDAS (Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services) compliant signatures, making it suitable for use throughout the EU.
A-Trust Outmuscles Over 100 Applications to Receive Government Funding
The QualiSig solution developed by A-Trust was awarded with the grant after successfully passing two funding rounds in which 132 applications were submitted. Just 45 of these were eventually approved by government agencies in a fast-track process designed to expedite the fight against Covid-19. Moreover, A-Trust was the only security solution to be approved for funding, with the majority of applications focused on diagnostics.
The blockchain where QualiSig will be established, Ignis, is the main child chain of Ardor. It offers a range of features straight out the box for developers, of which the encrypted messaging function will be utilized in the creation of QualiSig. Ignis is designed with privacy paramount, which will be critical to QualiSig’s implementation, providing a means of data verification while ensuring that it can only be viewed by authorized parties. Should the project prove successful, there is the potential for QualiSig to be deployed to solve an array of problems above and beyond Covid-19, from facilitating secure communication to establishing the veracity of news and government messages.