Austin Gets Grant to Explore Blockchain Identity Platform

The Texas city will explore how the technology can help secure identity documents to help homeless individuals access to social and health services vital to ending and preventing homelessness.

by Austin American-Statesman / August 2, 2019
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(TNS) — The city of Austin's office of innovation has received a $409,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of an initiative that will explore the relationship between technology, infrastructure and health.

The grant will enable the city to work with local, national and international partner groups to test the viability of a blockchain-enabled digital identity platform. The city will explore how blockchain technology can help secure identity documents that, in turn, will help facilitate access to social and health services vital to ending and preventing homelessness.

The office created a proof of concept in 2018 as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge. Members of the Austin Blockchain Collective, Austin's Homelessness Advisory Committee and local social service providers proved out several components of a concept called MyPass. Through prototyping and testing, the Austin community proved that such a platform could enable access to services by homeless people in the community.

The grant runs from July 2019 through July 2020. The city will hire a team of four to facilitate the development and testing of a viable product that will allow people who are experiencing homelessness to securely and permanently store, validate and automatically package and submit information needed to access health and social services.

©2019 Austin American-Statesman, Texas. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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