Block.co is very honored to announce that the Ayia Napa municipality has entrusted us with the implementation of the issuance and dissemination of self-verifying marriage certificates. Ayia Napa becomes the first Municipality of Cyprus to use blockchain technology for the issuance and electronic verification of wedding certificates and official ambassador certificates.
The Ayia Napa Municipality is pioneering when it comes to electronic governance thereby facilitating the lives of its residents and thousands of visitors. As part of the modernization of its services, the Municipality and the City Council of Ayia Napa announced the launch of a major collaboration with the largest academic institution of the Republic of Cyprus, the University of Nicosia.
In his statements, the Mayor of Ayia Napa, Mr. Yiannis Karoussos, described a very important development for the city the use of blockchain technology by the municipality authorities and praised such important cooperation with the most important institution of Cyprus, the University of Nicosia. “I am very proud that Ayia Napa is at the forefront of technology again. A development that will only have a positive impact on the lives of our citizens and visitors, helping them to electronically verify their marriage certificates easily and simply by following the steps of foreign countries. We are pleased that the University of Nicosia is on our way as our goals and efforts to create a better tomorrow for all of us are matched. I promise that the City will never be complacent and will continue to adapt to the new era and new technologies. That’s just the beginning.” In addition, Mr. Karoussos said that the introduction of blockchain technology will become an example that the rest of our municipalities, as well as the state itself.
On the other hand, the CEO of Block.co, Mr. Alexis Nicolaou, expressed that it is a great honor for the Municipality of Ayia Napa to show confidence in the University of Nicosia and its framework of services. “This is innovation beyond the narrow geographical contexts of Cyprus, and it makes us happy to be following. The Municipality of Ayia Napa becomes the first Municipality of Cyprus to adopt this technology which brings it up to date with the new era.”
How to get Electronic Marriage Certificate Verification?
As of today, all newlyweds, in addition to receiving a physical marriage certificate, will also receive a PDF copy of the marriage certificate with specific metadata linking this certificate to the blockchain. Note that the PDF of the certificate itself has not been published on the blockchain, but rather a fingerprint of the PDF file, which is sufficient to confirm that the exact document was actually published by Ayia Napa Municipality and bears the digital stamp from Bitcoin. By uploading this PDF Wedding Certificate to a validator that you may find on the City’s website at http://www.ayianapa.org.cy/validator.php one can verify its authenticity.
What is Blockchain and how does it work?
Blockchain is the technology that supports cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. It is essentially a distributed database that records and processes transactions through a network of computers, without the need for a centralized entity to confirm the transactions. Trying to decipher the concept of Blockchain, we can say that Blockchain is a public digital directory or ledger, which includes all transactions/notifications that have been executed and recorded in a particular sequence of transactions. The process of creating and maintaining this file is defined and controlled by programming rules, called a consensus protocol. These rules shall be drawn up in the light of the exceptional need for trust between these persons.
The general benefits of blockchain
Public access to the blockchain facilitates transparency in transactions and the dissemination of information. In the same context, the control process and the security of transactions are facilitated by eliminating any potential infringements, precisely because of the public nature of the data. At the same time, the need for cost-effective intermediaries also disappears, as all transaction information is encrypted within the blockchain. Thus, for example, governments can save several billion each year by eliminating a series of processes that cost time and money.
Beyond that, there are a number of services and solutions in the financial sector that can become better, more secure, and require less time to implement using blockchain. As well as several other ideas that could take advantage of this technology and create many new products and solutions for the financial sector. Using Blockchain technology, provides improved traceability, increased process efficiency and speed, and reduced costs.
A good example is the case of Dubai, which plans to be the first city to fully embrace blockchain technology. Processing validation applications, paying bills, and renewing licenses are generating more than 100 million documents per year. By 2020, all of this will be done digitally on the blockchain. Moving from paper to Dubai is expected to save $ 1.5 billion (AED 5.5 billion) in administrative costs annually, reduce C02 emissions by 114 MTons and free up 25.1 million hours of economic activity.
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