Protokol is actively working with EBSI to deliver blockchain projects within the EU. Contributing to two key areas of the EBSI project, Protokol was involved with the initial versions of the network and is now an active participant in the EBSI VECTOR project, which centres around verifying educational credentials and certifications between member states frictionlessly.
In 2018, 29 countries (all EU member states, Norway and Liechtenstein) came together in agreement to create the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP).
The “EBP’s vision is to leverage blockchain to create cross-border services for public administrations, businesses, citizens and their ecosystems to verify information and make services trustworthy.”
The partnership aimed to create a blockchain base layer that organisations could use to develop applications to serve their specific needs, including providing verifiable credentials, track and trace capabilities, and a trustworthy data exchange platform.
Potential initial use cases spanned from creating trusted audit trails, verifiable educational credentials, and authenticating documents, to digital identity, compliance, regulation and taxation. The technology was to be built to enable the further development of new use cases over time.
Protokol participated in the initial versions of the EBSI project by providing the project owners with advice on selecting blockchain base layer infrastructure. This was followed by the creation of a custom SDK (Software Development Kit) for the network.
EBSI SDK (Software Development Kit)
For developers to build applications on the EBSI blockchain network, Protokol started developing an EBSI-specific SDK. The SDK, built-in Typescript, can perform as a middleware layer providing the tools necessary for organisations, from the public sector to private, to take advantage of the network.
The SDK could have the potential to be implemented across several additional use cases – from powering supply chains to digital identity and credential authentication.
ARK blockchain compatibility with EBSI Notarisation use case
Interoperability across the EBSI network was paramount to the success of the project. Along with several other major blockchains, the Protokol team helped configure EBSI to be compatible with the robust ARK blockchain.
To assist the EBSI network in achieving its initial usability targets, Protokol implemented a transaction type to support the EBSI Notarisation use case.
Centred around verifying documents and storing their corresponding hashes on-chain, enabling a secure and efficient notarisation functionality.
Developing this use case as a model allowed the team to test how quickly blocks could be added to the chain and helped set performance expectations. Protokol also helped to performance-test and offer feedback on the initial versions of the network.
EBSI’s blockchain infrastructure presents an important platform to allow entities within EU member states to create interconnected applications, laying the groundwork for seamless collaboration, authentication, and data exchange across borders.
It paves the way for SSI (Self-Sovereign Identity) initiatives such as establishing a European-wide digital ID as a basis for citizens, businesses, public sector administrations and governments to manage their affairs safely, securely, and efficiently throughout the bloc.
In 2022, Protokol responded to a tender by the EC to be part of the EBSI VECTOR project. Protokol was selected for its blockchain expertise, deemed necessary for developing a trusted digital infrastructure that’s fit for the future.
One of the aims of the VECTOR project is to create a secure, efficient and decentralised framework for exchanging and verifying digital education and professional credentials across borders in the EU.
This will continue to support the wider EU ambition to further interconnect member-state businesses and individuals, reduce bureaucratic friction and unlock efficiencies.
Achieving this aim would first require the definition of specific educational and professional document verification parameters on the EBSI network, as well as a roadmap for the continued development of the ecosystem.
The immediate technical goals of VECTOR include extending the ESSIF (European Self-Sovereign Identity Framework) to include interoperable EBSI wallets for enterprises and citizens (holders) that conform to the updated specifications of the network.
These wallets will be key to implementing the educational/professional documents use case, with a view to further utilisation in social security.
Protokol is going to help build an enterprise wallet for the EBSI VECTOR project that will be a key tool in the overall project that aims to allow legal entities to issue and verify educational and professional credentials across member state borders in the EU, both efficiently and securely.
Additionally, Protokol will contribute to tasks related to the “business blueprint” such as identifying business and technical requirements.
Along with the enterprise wallet, EBSI holder wallets will be developed to store citizens’ digital credentials, implementing a user-friendly design to promote large-scale adoption.
This will require Protokol to help identify business requirements, identify requirements surrounding interoperability, and map out several cross-border user journeys. Protokol will also be involved in tasks relating to testing and validating newly established ESSIF capabilities.
Roadmap & Timelines
At the time of writing, the EC has set an official timeline for the delivery of key elements of the VECTOR project, including the rollout of information to key stakeholders, and the building of technical infrastructure.
VECTOR officially commenced on 1st July 2023. Protokol is an active participant in the VECTOR project and will help shape and deliver the project in the coming years. Several core milestones have been agreed throughout 2023 and 2024, with a deadline for project completion set for mid-2025.