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Edinburgh Hosts World’s First Blockchain ID Lab

Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh has launched the world’s first recognized blockchain identification laboratory as part of the country’s new blockchain research facility that boasts to be the only one of its kind in Europe.

Blockpass Identity Lab is a GBP 600,000 collaborative effort between Hong Kong-based blockchain-based identity application firm, Blockpass IDN, and the Edinburgh Napier University. It is located on the university’s Merchiston Campus and will focus its efforts on researching and testing the ways in which blockchain can be used to protect personal data online.

Predominantly, researchers will be focused on building new data infrastructures that consider privacy, rights and the consent of Scottish citizens in an attempt to stifle identity fraud cases that affect approximately one in ten UK residents at one time in their lives. The future value of the digital identity market is forecast to hit USD 9.7 billion by 2021.

Kate Forbes, the Scottish Minister for the Digital Economy, described the future practices of the lab as ”exciting work” necessary in order to combat the illegal actions of online scammers and hackers. She also praised it for the positive benefits it will have on keeping the Scottish cybersecurity both ”innovative and world-class”.

The lab is set to run for three years during the Hong Kong-Scotland partnership, in which funding will be provided for five PhD students, their research support staff and the required technology.

Dr Sally Smith, dean of the university’s School of Computing, said that she sees the collaboration as a ”positive foundation for the future” that support developing the advanced skills necessary for blockchain research.

Those who wish to get involved with the new facility can participate in a number of activities organized to promote the launch. They have organized an advanced cryptography, blockchain, and digital identity conference, as well as an open hackathon.


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