Fév 19, 2020 in Coups de projecteur sur les membres by DIACC

Spotlight on Northern Block

  1. What is the mission and vision of Northern Block?

Northern Block is a blockchain consulting and venture creation firm that develops production-grade software, using cutting-edge blockchain and distributed technologies.

The Northern Block team has dedicated themselves to building blockchain solutions because they believe that it unlocks a vast array of social and economic benefits. For people, having control over one’s own identity and money can solve important issues such as privacy, inequality and misaligned incentives with companies selling products. For the public and private sectors, blockchain enables the creation of trust through decentralized transparency. This, in turn, creates significant operational efficiencies and enhances customer experiences, increasing brand loyalty.

We live in a time in which trust in institutions is diminishing every year – yet blockchain can solve this trust problem, which is why Northern Block will continue innovating to help create a better world.

  1. Why is trustworthy digital identity critical for existing and emerging markets?

Creating trusted ways of managing identities is just as important in existing markets as it is in emerging ones. With everything in people’s lives gone or going digital, it is important that standards and mechanisms be put in place to empower people, organizations and things. 

For people, owning your digital identity empowers you to be in the driver’s seat in regards to who accesses and controls your information. For organizations, trustworthy identities can significantly lower operating costs and facilitate global growth. For things, we can have assurance that our devices don’t spy on us and aren’t subject to misaligned incentives. 

Overall, trusted digital identities will create better forms of accountability than exists today in all markets.

  1. How will digital identity transform the Canadian and global economy? How does Northern Block address challenges associated with this transformation?

Digital identities will help the Canadian economy in many facets, such as enhancing activities related to immigration and citizenship, as well as global affairs and innovation.

Today, many Canadian organizations don’t recognize foreign institutions because there’s no way of checking the legitimacy of their credentials. With digital identity, a person can use indirect reputations, such as using credentials from a Canadian institution vouching that a foreign credential is equivalent, or of certain standards. This breakthrough would create fair opportunities for immigrants, while ensuring the Canadian economy can maximize its workforce potential.

For global affairs, how can you trust an international company that you haven’t dealt with beforehand? Just like with individuals, digital identities can enable reliable foreign company reputations, while promoting safe and sustainable globalization for Canadian institutions.

Digital identities will enable new types of businesses and allow enterprises and start-ups to innovate. While some of the benefits from digital identities are clear, we don’t yet know the full extent of new business models that become possible. Just like when big technological advancements such as the internet or blockchain came along, it took time for new opportunities to be identified.

  1. What role does Canada have to play as a leader in the space?

Canada needs to lead by example in the digital identity space. Interestingly enough, Canada is behind many others in the space, as there are quite a few countries with existing private key infrastructures run by the Government (such as India, Dubai and Estonia). 

Because the Canadian ministries are already decentralized, digital identity solutions are even more valuable to our Government. With a trustworthy digital identity, instead of the Canadian Government coordinating touchpoints, the citizens can coordinate with Governments themselves, as it’s difficult today for Government organizations to create interoperability between themselves. 

  1. Why did Northern Block join the DIACC?

Northern Block is ‘all in’ with digital identities, with the belief that blockchain technology is the solution to creating trusted identity solutions, and keen to contribute in making this technology a success in Canada.

  1. What else should we know about Northern Block?

For the past three years, Northern Block has been building enterprise software solutions that use blockchain. For every solution to be truly decentralized, decentralized digital identities are necessary. For this reason, the company has ongoing projects that use digital identities, and  gained their initial experience by developing an identity project for the Ontario Government.
Lastly, Northern Block hosts the  #SSIToronto meetup group, which helps to educate the community about the many benefits of self-sovereign identity and how this technology could be implemented.

To learn more about DIACC members, check out our other member Spotlights!