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- Germany has awarded IBM and Ubirch the contract to create the digital COVID-19 vaccination passport.
- Ubirch previously implemented his IOTA based solution in two German states.
As reported by the portal Ted Europe, IBM and the startup Ubirch have been awarded a contract to issue a digital certificate proving vaccination against Covid-19. The contract was awarded by the Federal Ministry of Health (BGM) of the Federal Republic of Germany and will be used in public services under the jurisdiction of all federal authorities, states and their local subdivisions.
Intended as an add-on option to the yellow vaccination card, holders of the digital certificate can store COVID-19 vaccination verification data “conveniently on their cell phones.”
The certificate format will be accessible through an app that will include a “testing application and back-end system to integrate with physician offices and immunization sites. This will allow individuals to use a QR code that will act as a unique fingerprint on which vaccination-related data will be stored.
The data will be secured by a cryptographic signature and stored in what is expected to be 5 blockchains. In this way, the personal information of the holders will not be viewable or manipulable by an external entity. In addition, the certificate will contain much more data than the time of vaccination, name and type of vaccine.
In total, the partners have received 2,700,000 million euros to implement this solution. Among the partners’ contractual obligations is an outline defining the system structure, the system interface and its components, and the front-end and back-end development of the digital certificates. The contract provides:
The purely technical implementation of a digital vaccination certificate will take approx. 12 weeks. The reasons for this are the complexity of the solution, the necessary data protection and security checks as well as the connection of approx. 55,000 practices and approx. 410 vaccination centers.
The partnership between IOTA and Ubirch
IBM and Ubirch received the contract over Deutsche Telekom. The partners prevailed for their rapid deployment of a solution. The start-up Ubirch is based in the province of Cologne, Germany. The solution by Ubirch was piloted in Altötting, Bavaria and Zollernalbkreis in Baden-Württemberg in two pilot tests.
As reported by CNF, Ubirch relies on 5 public blockchains /DLTs to anchor the information of Ubirch’s FastChainer service: IOTA, Ethereum Classic and the Ethereum-based blockchains “Bloxberg” and “govdigital”. However, with Ethereum facing huge “congestion issues” and high fees, IOTA seems to be the best choice. Speaking to CNF, a spokeswoman for Ubirch said that the company uses the IOTA Tangle because it “demonstrates high scalability and can be used without transaction costs.” This last factor, she said, was the deciding factor in the company’s choice. Furthermore, the company stated:
For Ubirch, the IOTA Tangle is characterized primarily by the comparatively high transaction rate and non-incurring transaction costs. Depending on the maximum transaction rate and transaction costs of the blockchains used, Ubirch anchors into the connected blockchains with varying frequency.
However, it remains to be seen what (leading) role IOTA will now play in the nationwide vaccination passport. Ubirch has not yet commented on this.
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