Input Output (IOHK), the company behind the cryptocurrency Cardano, is planning to set up a national ID blockchain system in Ethiopia.
In a tweet, Ethiopia’s Minister of Education, Dr. Getahun Mekuria the partnership that aims to build a blockchain-based universal system for student recognition in the East African nation.
The project, which he described as “the largest single blockchain implementation of all time,” is slated to go live in the third quarter of 2021, with an initial deployment of Cardano blockchain-based IDs to 5 million students in 3,500 schools. Approximately 750,000 teachers also have access to the system and use the IDs to keep records and track students’ academic performance.
The product is likely to hit the market sometime in September or October, according to Charles Hoskinson, founder of Cardano and co-founder of Ethereum, who told Yahoo Finance the company had a bigger goal of expanding the country’s education system.
“Our intent is to compete for the entire national ID system, which includes around 110 million people, among other things,” he said.
Unlike China or Saudi Arabia, which “have a grave record of very serious institutional violations,” Hoskinson said Ethiopia was still worth considering despite the country’s human rights concerns over the Tigray conflict.
“You have to weigh every deal – you look at the country level first and then work your way up to the facts and circumstances,” he told the news agency.
Since 2017, his platform has been exploring the potential of blockchain in Africa, where the IOKH is involved in initiatives for financial inclusion as well as economic identity and empowerment.
Last year the company announced plans to pursue an offline solution for cryptocurrencies with the introduction of new microchip technology that would allow cryptocurrency users to access payment services without an internet connection.
As PYMNTS reported, the chip “could be of greater use worldwide” and could be of great use to countries like Ethiopia, where less than 15 percent of the population does not have internet access.
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