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Digital Bazaar, GS1 US working on digital identities for supply chain


Today Digital Bazaar announced it is collaborating with standards organization GS1 US on a blockchain-based identity project. The proof of concept aims to build verifiable IDs for firms on the retail and commerce supply chain. Another 20 partners are involved in the initiative.

The organizations worked together earlier this month for a separate identity management project. That project focused on reusable Decentralized Identifiers (DiDs) with SecureKey and TradeLens. Then, too, a further 20 collaborators were mentioned. It can be assumed the same group was alluded to today.

The difference with this project is the concentration on supply chain and shipping. The idea came about when Digital Bazaar worked on a proof of concept with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The firm hopes to leverage GS1’s widely used supply chain standards, so the blockchain identity project is consistent with its data infrastructure and tracking protocols.

As Manu Sporny, CEO of Digital Bazaar, put it: “Digital Bazaar benefits from this collaboration by further leveraging a global interoperable system of identification and transaction standards.”

He continued: “With the advent of new technology standards like Decentralized Identifiers and Verifiable Credentials, organizations can now control their own digital identities, rather than relegating control to their vendors. This increases security, accuracy, and trust for all participants in the global supply chain.”

Melanie Nuce, Senior VP of Corporate Development at GS1 US, said: “GS1 US recognizes the unique opportunity to participate in the potential transformation of inefficient and inaccurate paper-based identity proofing that exists today.”

“This is all made possible by distributed ledger technology, where the right data can be made more accessible at the right time, for the right purpose, for the right entities,” she explained.

This proof of concept aims to reconcile a firm’s digital presence and its physical products. With blockchain, organizations can have a verifiable, secure DiD which is linked to their products. So as items move along the supply chain, their authenticity can be checked, ensuring confidence and trust.

In August, IBM announced its own credentials blockchain solution, Trust Your Supplier, with firms including GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco, and Vodaphone. Microsoft is also working on an identity project with ConsenSys and Transmute. In a more consumer-focused project, digital identity firm uPort partnered with document verification platform to combine their services.