Digital Asset’s Blythe Masters joins ID2020 board

digital identity

Today the ID2020 alliance announced the addition of four new Board members, including Blythe Masters, the high profile CEO of Digital Asset. The coalition aims to create a digital identity, especially for people who lack passports, birth certificates, and the like.

In addition to Masters, the new directors are Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Kim Cameron, Architect of Identity at Microsoft; and David Treat, Managing Director and Global Head of Accenture’s Blockchain Practice.

ID2020 background

The alliance consists of NGOs, private companies, and UN agencies. Partners include Accenture, Gavi, Hyperledger, Microsoft, and UN-ICC. It seeks to improve the lives of people through digital identity, observing: ‘Identity is foundational for political, economic, and social opportunity’.

ID2020 estimates that there are over one billion people who cannot prove their identity. These people not only lack a fundamental human right but also lose out on essential government services and bank accounts necessary for economic development.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.” The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals aim to “provide legal identity to all, including birth registration, by 2030”.

Hence by 2030, the Alliance intends to facilitate the scaling of a safe, verifiable, persistent digital identity system.

David Treat

David Treat brings a breadth of expertise to the board. He’s a board member of Linux’s Hyperledger, the open-source effort to advance cross-industry blockchain technology. Blythe Masters is Chair of the Governing Board.

The Hyperledger alliance isn’t just about Hyperledger Fabric. It covers several initiatives including the Indy distributed ledger for creating decentralized digital identities. The Indy technology underpins the Sovrin self-sovereign identity network.

The Accenture executive is also Vice Chairman of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.

Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, said: “David Treat’s broad expertise in distributed ledger technology make him an outstanding addition to the ID2020 board at a time where privacy and digital security are more important than ever.”

ID2020 approach

ID2020 takes ‘an approach that is holistic, market-based and addresses the full scope and scale of the challenge’. Arguing that no government, country or organization can solve this challenge alone, ID2020 stresses an interoperable and global approach.

There are two aspects to the challenge. At a technical level, there’s a need for interoperability between a diverse range of organizations across the globe. There’s also a need to coordinate in non-technical areas.

ID2020 recognizes the opportunity to leverage existing delivery networks as a scaling method. Shunning a go-it-alone mentality, ‘the alliance will develop creative partnerships with organizations, both public and private, with broad networks on the ground at various “entry points.”’

Alliance partners plan to use the latest technology to accelerate access to people’s digital identities. ID2020 recognizes that the use of blockchain together with technologies could be a crucial tool to enable people to have a safe, verifiable, and persistent identity.

If it succeeds, blockchain will help to improve a considerable number of people’s lives.