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IBM and SecureKey develop blockchain digital identity network

First Published 20th March 2017

IBM and SecureKey Technologies are working together to enable a new digital identity and attribute sharing network based on IBM Blockchain.

Marie Wieck, IBM Blockchain

Marie Wieck, IBM Blockchain

Las Vegas - SecureKey and IBM are developing a digital identity and attribute sharing network using IBM's Blockchain service which is built on top of the Linux Foundation's open source Hyperledger Fabric v1.0. As a permissioned blockchain, the Hyperledger Fabric is an essential component in delivering services that comply with regulations where data protection and confidentiality matter.

The network aims to make it easier for consumers to verify they are who they say they are. When launched later this year, consumers can use the network to instantly verify their identity for services such as new bank accounts, driver's licenses or utilities.

"What IBM is building with SecureKey and members of the digital identity ecosystem in Canada, including major banks, telecom companies and government agencies, will help tackle the toughest challenges surrounding identity," said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain. "This method is an entirely different approach to identity verification, and together with SecureKey, we have a head start on putting it on the blockchain. This is a prime example of the type of innovation permissioned blockchain networks can accelerate."

The network is currently in the testing phase in Canada, and once it goes live later in 2017 Canadian consumers will be able to opt-in to the new blockchain-based service using a mobile app. Consumers - or network members - will be able to control what identifying information they share from trusted credentials to the organizations of their choice, for those organizations to validate the consumer's identity and arrange new services.

For example, if a consumer has proven their identity with their bank and a credit agency, they can grant permission to share their data with a utility to create a new account. Since the bank and the credit agency have already gone through extensive verification of the consumer's identity, the utility can choose to rely on the fact that the information is verified, and the consumer can be approved for new services.

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