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Barclaycard partners with blockchain startup Evernym on self-sovereign identity

Photo: Business Advice

Dec 10, 2018 07:01 am UTC

Barclaycard, a credit card and payment services provider and a division of Barclays, has announced its plans to explore the benefits of “self-sovereign identity” (SSI).

Self-sovereign identity is the concept to enable people, organizations, and things to securely and privately store and control their own identity data, allowing them to share verifiable proof of who they are, for life. It could replace usernames and passwords, and even form-filling, forever.

On these lines, Barclaycard Payment Solutions (BPS) Innovation team is joining blockchain startup Evernym in the latter’s 12-month Accelerator programme.

Evernym is the company behind Sovrin – a body focused on developing, building, and promoting SSI. Based on blockchain technology, the Sovrin Protocol creates a unique, digital identifier that can be used to verify proof of identity anywhere and at any time. According to the whitepaper, the Sovrin protocol is based entirely on open standards and open source—the Hyperledger Indy Project.

After a year of sandbox and alpha testing, the Sovrin Network was formally launched on July 31, 2017, with a genesis transaction between the first 10 participating organizations known as “stewards”. In November 2018, Evernym launched the Accelerator Program with 15 founding members, including ATB Financial, IAG, Irish Life, the International Federation of Red Cross, Spark New Zealand, Truu and three provincial and state governments.

Through the accelerator programme, BPS will focus on developing “a commercial proposition in a safe test environment and further explore the customer, business, legal and technical benefits of SSI.”

“We are excited to be involved with the Accelerator Program which is helping us develop our strategic response to SSI market opportunities. With access to Evernym’s insight, tools and expertise, we are really able to speed up our learning about Sovrin and self-sovereign identity. And most importantly, we can rapidly develop solutions that solve real customer and business problems,” Ed Black, Director of Innovation at Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said.

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