There are a dizzying number of Korean decentralized identity (DID) initiatives. On the one hand, that’s positive, but at the same time, there is significant potential for overlap. So the government’s Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) has stepped in to try to establish interoperability standards.
KISA has launched the DID Technology Standardization Forum according to Korea’s Financial News. The organization is acutely aware of the different DID implementations because it recently launched its own identity app for its employees. There are several identity consortia in Korea and they’re all quite active. Each service uses a different technology platform, has separate apps and operating companies. Hence interoperability is one of the most important issues.
The W3C consortium has a set of DID standards that most of the apps comply with, but that doesn’t mean they’re interoperable. Hence this is one of the key topics for standards alongside domestic legal issues and service development.
In terms of the different identity groups, there’s the Initial DID Association, which was founded by the main Korean telecoms firms but has since expanded. There’s the DID Alliance, which has numerous member banks and uses the blockchain from Raon Secure. But one of its members, Shinhan Bank, has launched a solution with a separate MyID Alliance founded by ICONLOOP, which is associated with the ICON public blockchain. And Coinplug, which runs the MYKEEPin app and Alliance, uses its own public blockchain. It’s also listed as a member of the DID Alliance.
There’s yet another organization that was founded back in 2018, the Open Blockchain and DID Association. This appears to be a cross-industry body and includes KISA, Microsoft, IBM, and some of the technology companies involved in the other initiatives such as ICONLOOP and CoinPlug.