Tech Leaders Test Blockchain Biometrics Retail Platform

Tokyo-based tech leader Hitachi and telecoms giant KDDI have begun the test-run of a retail coupon settlement process. The new technology integrates blockchain with biometrics, as reported by Cointelegraph Japan.

Personnel from both firms collaborated earlier in an experimental demo at a KDDI store in Shinjuku district in Tokyo, including a local donut shop.

The experiment makes use of Hitachi’s Hyperledger Fabric-powered technology using biometric verification platform and KDDI’s current retail coupon system.

Initially, users have to go to the KDDI store and input their biometric data and coupon credits. Afterward, they have to proceed to do their coupon transactions at the nearby donut stall through the use of their fingerprints to make a purchase.

As cited in Hitachi’s recent press release, compared to the previous traditional biometric identification infra, the trial tool encrypts the biometric data, which works as part of a public key authentication process.

The blockchain stores all the users’ biometric data, coupon credits, and transaction histories through an encryption. Chosen retailers can then join as nodes in the network, validating customers’ fingerprints to check the transaction request.

Hitachi noted it will use the tamper-proof system in securely updating the consumers’ coupon balances among the stores found in the network altogether.

The news regarding the integration of blockchain with biometrics to develop immutable and secure ID verification systems has already been talked about previously and many people have shown interest in its potential uses.

Andreas Antonopoulos, a crypto industry veteran and security systems expert, shared his skepticism about the project since 2016.

He noted by embedding into a blockchain, the irrevocability of biometrics is added to the immutability of a blockchain. In turn, this makes dealing with compromised biometrics more difficult.

Moreover, he added while biometric registration cannot eliminate anonymity directly, this can enhance statistical analysis of the activities, showing the leak of the sole identifier that can damage all privacy.

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