Today Ubisecure, the company behind RapidLEI announced its support for verifiable corporate credentials vLEIs. The use of Legal Entity Identifiers (LEIs), a global standard, started in the financial sector in 2014 but is now expanding. LEIs aim to provide legal entities with a unique identity. But vLEIs go several steps further.
The Financial Stability Board created the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) as the umbrella body that delegates responsibility to local organizations such as Ubisecure, which perform LEIs issuance. Four months ago, GLEIF announced it was expanding beyond finance and exploring the use of self-sovereign identity (SSI) solutions for corporates.
Verifiable LEIs can provide numerous benefits. It can enable a company to both provide its identity and verify it. In other words, it can demonstrate it still exists and its legal registration has not been revoked. Additionally, it can share details such as corporate registration, tax identifiers or bank details. But most importantly, it allows a company to confirm a person claiming to act on its behalf is authorized to sign a contract. It introduces the vLEI ‘role credential’ for employees.
Hence an organization can have a wallet with these verifiable credentials and share the details with whom it chooses. Clearly, this could be useful for know your customer (KYC) and anti money laundering processes (AML). And Deloitte is working with GLEIF on a KYC use case.
“Since the launch of the vLEI, we’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response from our Local Operating Units (LOUs), acknowledging the potential it offers for expanding their client base,” said Stephan Wolf, GLEIF CEO.
Ubisecure’s adoption is important because of its scale. Via RapidLEI it claims to be the largest current issuer of LEIs, larger than the DTCC and Bloomberg. Since 2018 it has issued LEIs to 80,000 organizations. Today it opened pre-registration of its vLEI pilot program through its partner network. However, it still needs to be accepted into the GLEIF pilot program this year.
“We share the G20’s vision for the LEI as the single global organisational identifier. We also share the vision that Verifiable Credentials can address a multitude of use cases as people take control of their digital identity,” said Paul Tourret, Corporate Development Officer, Ubisecure.
He continued, “The vLEI brings the benefits of LEIs to a much wider audience by establishing trust in the identity of who you’re doing business with, whilst at the same time increasing privacy and efficiency.”
Scratching below the surface
GLEIF’s plans are for W3C standards compliant verifiable credentials, but its solution is technology agnostic. It won’t itself use a ledger as it will use Key Event Receipt Infrastructure (KERI) for its decentralized key management infrastructure (DKMI).
Some verifiable credentials and SSI solutions use blockchain technology, and others do not because it’s possible to do the verification on a P2P basis using cryptography. Even the solutions that use blockchain don’t always use blockchain for the same purpose. Some store a hash or fingerprint of the credential. Others only use blockchain to store public cryptographic keys and a list of revoked credentials.
Because of its move into verifiable credentials, GLEIF is now a member of the Trust Over IP Foundation.
With rapid digitization, and the increased KYC and AML burdens, some small companies are getting excluded. The G20 has recognized the problem.
Meanwhile, others such as Mastercard are instead looking to offer other solutions to address the corporate identity gap.