Identity News

Temasek identity startup Affinidi hires ex Amazon AWS exec as CEO


Today Singaporean digital identity firm Affinidi Group announced the appointment of Glenn Gore as its CEO. Before Affinidi, Gore was the Lead Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services, working for the company for over seven years. Gore also becomes a board member of two startups based on Affinidi’s identity solutions:  GoodWorker  and Trustana.

Launched in October and founded by Singaporean state-owned investment company Temasek, Affinidi uses self-sovereign identity solutions based on W3C DID (decentralized identifier) standards. The applications include the creation of digital identities, verifiable credentials, and selective sharing of data. The credentials can be used across various sectors, including medicine, employment, academia, or finance.

“Innovative technologies are key enablers of growth. In line with trends we have identified, including a more connected world and smarter systems, we see opportunities to move beyond investing by building game-changing businesses such as Affinidi,” said Chia Song Hwee, Deputy CEO of Temasek

GoodWorker is a job-matching blockchain-based platform based in India, connecting blue-collar workers with potential employers. Based in Singapore, Trustana is a business to business (B2B) marketplace and trade platform. Initially, Trustana concentrates on Chinese sellers and South East Asian buyers of food and beverages.

“New technologies and business models are required to drive authenticity, portability, security, and privacy of data for today and tomorrow.” said incoming Affinidi CEO, Gore.

Self-sovereign identity (SSI) has come to the fore during COVID-19. Credentials enable someone to prove medical tests and vaccinations with immunity passports. There are numerous SSI initiatives. Last year Sovrin and uPort were the highest-profile, but earlier this year Sovrin let go most of its team, and uPort lost its leader to another venture. South Korea is taking the lead with numerous high profile SSI initiatives, some of which are getting adopted by government departments.

Meanwhile, Temasek has S$306 billion in assets as of March 2020 and is very active in blockchain-based initiatives. Most recently, Temasek participated in the development of a blockchain bond issuance platform with HSBC, used for the first time by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in September this year. Other blockchain activities include joining Libra Association in May and completing a blockchain trial for multi-currency payments with JP Morgan and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) late last year.

Also today, MAS launched a consultation about enabling banks to verify customer identities remotely. It wants to prohibit them purely relying on public information such as their address, date of birth and national identity number. Perhaps Affinidi is one of the potential solutions.

Update: the description of Temasek was changed from sovereign wealth fund, because Temasek is not a fund, operates independently and pays taxes.