Yesterday German press reported that a consortium led by IBM, including blockchain cybersecurity firm Ubirch won the tender for digital vaccination certificates in Germany. The two firms beat competition from a joint initiative by Deutsche Telekom and SAP. According to the Official EU Journal the award is €2.7 million ($3.2 million), but IBM will subcontract 51% of the project.
The initiative is to create a digital version of yellow vaccine certificates.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that other consortium participants include Bechtle and Govdigital, which is a cooperative of 15 IT providers. In January, Ubirch and Govdigital were involved in a regional project in the Bavarian district of Altötting. It’s unclear whether that solution used IBM’s Digital Health Pass.
A key feature of the regional trial was to issue a physical card, similar to a credit card but displaying a QR code. Given the first vaccines were provided to older people, the card proved popular. The QR code encodes personal information such as the name, ID and the details of the vaccination, and anyone scanning the code sees the information. The data is not saved elsewhere and the vaccine recipient can store the data on a mobile phone. When the QR code is created, a hash or fingerprint of the data is stored on a blockchain.
A similar solution for Corona test certificates has already been deployed by Ubirch at Frankfurt Airport, Berlin, Hamburg and Düsseldorf. For that, Ubirch partnered with Govdigital and Lufthansa Industry Solutions.
Ubirch positions itself as an IoT cybersecurity firm. It claims it created the world’s first blockchain-on-a-SIM solution together with 1NCE and G+D Mobile Security, a firm known as a currency solution provider to central banks.
There are a variety of solutions in the marketplace for COVID-19 health certificates. And airlines, in particular, are keen to adopt them. The solutions include GE Digital’s TrustOne app, IATA’s Travel Pass platform, and the ICC AOKpass. But there are many more.