19.01.2021

Catalonia Announces a Decentralized ID System the Gov’t Won’t Control

The bidding for system development – which is expected to be completed by 2020 – will start shortly at €550,000 (nearly $607,000). Citizens using IdentiCAT will reportedly be able to choose what data they are willing to share with the government and request it to store a portion of it and share it with third parties.

The Catalan government announced IdentiCAT, a decentralized identity system. President Quim Torra and Minister of Digital Policies and Administration Jordi Puigneró announced the project on Saturday, local media outlet VilaWeb reported on Sept. 7. Notably, the government says it will not have access to the citizen’s data.

Privacy protection

The system will reportedly be available both to Catalonia residents and to Catalonians residing abroad that still want to use it. Torra commented on the development:

“Now it’s time to lead the digital revolution. We speak of an entrepreneurial society that is attentive to social novelties and innovations. The aim of this government is to put people at the center of their policies, also the digital ones.”

Decentralization as a way to empower citizens

He also stressed that Catalonia cares about the concept of digital citizenship and blockchain technology in a strong way and claimed that it intends to become the first country to implement a decentralized digital identity. Sierra Leone, meanwhile, plans to fully adopt a blockchain-enabled national identity system by the end of 2019.

Puigneró also commented on the project and the implication he foresees:

“Some will want to question the project because they may be scared to empower people, let’s be a country moving forward. Because they know that when we empower people we are an unstoppable country. […] The republic we want is one that empowers citizens, not that it controls them, represses them or treats them as digital merchandise.”

Lastly, he explained that the system won’t be used to identify citizens. Instead, he explained that it will be a more private way to access digital services, develop the economy and empower the citizens.

As Cointelegraph reported at the end of August, a new partnership between a development bank, a nongovernmental organization and a tech corporation is eyeing the creation of a blockchain-based identity system to improve financial inclusion in Buenos Aires.

Casa Releases New Version of Its Bitcoin Full Node Casa Node 2

New York-based crypto custody startup Casa has released Casa Node 2, a new iteration of the industry’s popular pre-synced Bitcoin (BTC) full node product.

Original Casa Node did a great job, the firm says

According to an Oct. 8 blog post, Casa Node 2 offers a faster and smoother Bitcoin and Lightning experience by deploying a faster processor on Raspberry Pi 4, with 4GB RAM and a 1TB solid state drive.

In the announcement, Casa stated that their original Casa node did a great job as a full Bitcoin and Lightning node in a reliable device. However, the company “wanted to do more” and was planning to improve their hardware in order to do so.

Early upgrades to Casa Node 2 are available to pre-order, the firm added.

NodeOS update

As part of the announcement, Casa also introduced a new version of its native node software NodeOS, which now has an updated design and dark mode. Following the launch of the update, the Casa Node 2 will also be running major open-source Bitcoin payments processor BTCPayServer.

Casa will distribute its Node 2 devices in limited numbers in October and November at a discount price of $300, according to the announcement.

While Casa claims that the original Casa Node was highly effective as a full Bitcoin node, some customers reported that earlier iterations of the model were slow, while agreeing that plug-and-play nodes such as Casa are here to stay.

In August, Litecoin (LTC) founder Charlie Lee said that he has been investing in Casa and expressed high hopes for the company.

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