In 2020, the Ministry for Digitalisation, Infrachain, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) have partnered to develop the EBSILUX project.
Co-funded by the European Union, the EBSILUX project integrates Luxembourg into the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI). EBSI is part of the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP), a partnership between 29 countries (EU Member States, Norway and Liechtenstein) and the European Commission.
EBSI uses blockchain to build cross-border services and enable public administrations to digitise and issue or certify documents that are the standard way of verifying information about people (identity cards, work permits, driving licences, etc.), legal entities and goods (origin of containers, product safety, etc.).
EBSILUX implements a European EBSI use case at national level, leading to the completion and functioning of the internal market in support of the competitiveness of the European economy. The project will create new trans-European services. More specifically, citizens, administrations and businesses from Luxembourg and other EU Member States will benefit from Luxembourg's participation in the EBSI project and from the collaboration with other EU Member States. This project aims to create the same level of trust in digital services as exists today in other public services.
First use case
Luxembourg has made student mobility, multilingualism and international cooperation one of its priorities. An interoperable and cross-border solution is therefore essential. EBSILUX aims to develop a solution to provide digital higher education diplomas whose authenticity can be verified automatically. Digital diplomas will allow the sharing of reliable information on the qualifications of their holders in the form of structured data rather than just unverifiable PDF documents.
The use case is based on digital identity, the blockchain and the automatic verification mechanism of digital credentials/presentations. EBSILUX will thus enable citizens to become familiar with the concepts of digital wallets. In this sense, this project is an important first step in creating the necessary infrastructure for the exchange of data from trusted sources between the public and private sector in a cross-border environment.
The diplomas use case ensures that a diploma has been issued by a given university and helps to create trust between schools/universities, students and employers in digitalized interactions. Fraudsters who use falsified diplomas damage the reputation of schools and universities. The diplomas use case thus aims to eliminate the risk of fraud. In addition, employers will be able to instantly check the validity of their applicants' diplomas, which speeds up the recruitment process.
The diplomas use case is a first step towards giving every citizen control over their data and having a place to receive, manage and share all types of digital certificates that will constitute their digital identity. The standardised exchange of structured data will increase the quality of the data and save a lot of time in administrative procedures. Finally, the diplomas use case will contribute to student mobility and international cooperation in Luxembourg.
To support the diplomas use case, a digital identity based on the European Self-Sovereign Identity (ESSIF) framework is also being implemented. ESSIF will allow citizens to create, control and use their own digital identity (including identification, authentication and many other types of identity-related information) without having to rely on a single, centralised authority. This framework follows the European Commission's announcement of a trusted and secure digital identity for all Europeans.
As a result, ESSIF will facilitate not only all types of digital interactions between different parts of the public and private sectors, but also processes between citizens and public administrations or private parties in all EU Member States.