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SK Telecom, Deutsche Telekom plan blockchain digital identity

deutsche telekom

During next week’s MWC Barcelona conference South Korea’s largest mobile company SK Telecom (SKT) plans to sign an agreement with Deutsche Telekom for blockchain digital identity. Internationally Deutsche Telekom’s high profile brand is T-Mobile.

SKT and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs aim to develop the digital identity platform for use in authentication, access control and contracts.

While the announcement doesn’t use the term “self-sovereign identity” it states that users will be able to manage their own personal information on their smartphones, avoiding identity theft. One of the most infamous breaches was the theft of 143 million identities from credit reference company Equifax.

The companies plan to demo how a blockchain digital identity works a the MWC show next week.

The announcement doesn’t mention what technology the companies plan to use. However, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs is a steward or the Sovrin self-sovereign identity network. Asked if the project will use Sovrin, Deutsche Telekom responded that “this is not planned at the moment”.

The German telecoms company also announced yesterday that it is one of the first five substantial corporations on the governing council of Hedera Hashgraph. That doesn’t mean it will only use Hashgraph technology going forward. T-Labs is running a mobility hackathon in Barcelona this weekend.

There are numerous phone company consortia, but this is the first focused on consumer digital identity. However, some of the other initiatives require digital identity, such as Softbank’s cross-carrier mobile payment service.

The Softbank payments initiative includes TBCASoft which is the technology partner behind the Carrier Blockchain Study Group which consists of at least 13 international carriers. Additionally, there’s an Indo-Chinese consortium made up of CBCCom, PCCW Global, Sparkle and Tata Communications and a Chinese blockchain telecoms alliance involving China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom.