Banking Management & legal News

Business identity org started by Financial Stability Board pilots blockchain identity

identity

Today, The Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) said it is working with self-sovereign identity firm Evernym to enable organizations to use digital identity on the blockchain. The two are piloting a solution for ‘organization wallets,’ which would hold digital credentials of an organization and verify the authority of employees to act on its behalf.

GLEIF, established in 2014 by the Financial Stability Board, is tasked with implementing legal entity identifiers (LEI), a global identifier for companies and organizations participating in financial transactions. The blockchain-based solution uses the organization wallet and verifiable credentials to connect an employee’s name to the organization’s LEI. 

This blockchain-based identity management system improves the trustworthiness of a business process, so it’s known that an employee is authorized when they sign a contract with new suppliers, or submit information to regulators. 

GLEIF and Evernym ran a proof-of-concept (PoC) for a regulatory filing and leveraged verifiable credentials on the Sovrin Network. As a global foundation, GLEIF registered its own public Decentralized Identifier (DID) on the Sovrin Network. There are several LEI Issuers, typically financial exchanges, that issue and maintain these identifiers. GLEIF accredits each of these issuers. 

An organization is validated by the Issuer and assigned an LEI. 

For the PoC, an organization requested verifiable credentials with its LEI from the Issuer and used that data to issue verifiable credentials for its employees. These credentials were stored in the ‘organization wallet’. 

“By partnering with Evernym, we have extended the idea of self-sovereign identity beyond individuals to legal entities for the first time,” said Stephan Wolf, CEO of GLEIF. “The process of cryptographically recording credentials, linked to an organization’s LEI in a chain of trust rooted on distributed ledger technology, gives organizations full control over the issuance and management of their own employee’s digital credentials,”

GLEIF has previously trialed blockchain digital identity for LEIs on Ethereum and Hyperledger blockchains. The Sovrin Network, originally initiated by Evernym, is based on Hyperledger Indy. 

Among its recent projects, Evernym is participating in the COVID Credentials Initiative. It is on the steering committee of Trust over IP (ToIP) Foundation, a standards initiative of the Linux Foundation. 

Last year, the governments of British Columbia (BC), Ontario and Canada jointly explored decentralized identity and trusted credentials for businesses using Hyperledger Indy. The solution is called Verifiable Organizations Network (VON)