Federal Government Partners with ATB Ventures for National Digital ID Tech

ATB Ventures — the research and innovation arm of Alberta-based financial institution ATB Financial — on Tuesday announced a partnership with the Government of Canada to provide the technology that will underpin the federal administration’s National Digital Trust Service Proof of Concept.

With the world increasingly moving towards digitization and decentralization, the Government of Canada felt the need to transition identification and credentials to a self-sovereign, digital solution. The idea behind the National Digital Trust Service Proof of Concept is to advance both the adoption and development of technologies related to digital credentials.

ATB Ventures will be providing the Canadian government with its blockchain-identity management solution, Oliu, and digital credential wallet, Proof, to “allow businesses and regulators to develop use cases and issue, use and verify digital credentials in a secure, sandbox environment.”

The solution is meant to combine a wallet users can store their digital credentials in, like the Digital ID feature Apple announced for the Wallet app with iOS 15, with blockchain technology that can be used to both generate and manage decentralized digital credentials.

“ATB Ventures is excited to be partnering with the Government to advance Canada’s digital identity efforts,” said Sue McGill, Senior Vice President of ATB Ventures.

“With identification sitting at the heart of every interaction—online and off—having a secure, self sovereign identity system that provides a positive user experience and privacy by design is critical to not only the competitiveness of Canada, but also to driving inclusive, economic growth.”

ATB Financial has often been at the cutting-edge of banking and financial solutions. Back in 2017, the company launched the world’s first virtual banking assistant on Facebook Messenger.

The Government of Canada will work with regulators and organizations to explore and test their digital credentials use cases through the National Digital Trust Service Proof of Concept.

The initial focus of this joint venture between the feds and ATB Ventures will be interoperability. “Interoperability and standards are necessary for maintaining trust and transparency in a modern day digital economy,” said Nav Dhunay, Head of Technology at ATB Ventures.

“Oliu and Proof leverage leading digital identity frameworks, inclusive of the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework (PCTF), the recently announced National Trust and Identity Fundamentals, and emerging open standards such as Indy Aries Credentials and the W3C Verifiable Credential model.”