Palo Alto-based ShoCard, a startup looking to leverage the bitcoin blockchain for digital identity management, has announced that a new app is being developed in collaboration with multinational Swiss-based air transport IT company SITA.
SITA was founded 1949 and the company’s membership is comprised of 417 international airline and aviation companies.
The SITA Digital Traveler Identity App was unveiled today in Barcelona, Spain, at the Air Transport IT Summit industry conference, according to a CoinDesk report. Due to the increased delays air travelers have been experiencing at airports across the globe, SITA has been looking for a solution to streamline passenger verification procedures.
The new app essentially works by hashing passenger’s ID documents and facial biometric data on the bitcoin blockchain. The hashing process results in a “Single Travel Token” that can be used by airport officials to authenticate the passenger’s identity. Since the identity is recorded on the bitcoin blockchain, any airport official across the world can access this information, provided they are given this token. This travel token is essentially the public key that provide read-only access, while the private key, which can be used to move data on the blockchain, remains hidden.
The app is still in the proof-of-concept stage and many technical details still need to be addressed. SITA representative said the ShoCard app is a good example of what is possible with blockchain technology. Jim Peters, CTO at SITA, explained that blockchains may eliminated the need for centralized identity storage:
“Blockchain technology offers us the potential to provide a new way of using biometrics. It could enable biometrics to be used across borders, and at all airports, without the passenger’s details being stored by the various authorities. ShoCard has worked with us to demonstrate how we could make this a reality.”
ShoCard, founded by former Yahoo senior vice president Armin Ebrahimi and Jeff Weitzman, former president of Coupons.com, raised $1.5 million in funding from Digital Currency Group and three other VC firms, last year.
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