Some of the biggest names in IT, conventional finance and blockchain technology have joined an open-source digital standards consortium that they claim will help overcome the hurdles involved with “managing digital assets” and the “adoption of digital identity” – making use of “interoperable digital wallets” and other solutions.
The group comprises the likes of Corda blockchain operator R3, as well as the Blockchain Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas and financial and tech heavyweights like Mastercard and Accenture. IBM, which has attempted to position itself at the forefront of global blockchain development, is also on board.
The consortium is named the Trust over IP Foundation (ToIP). And per an official post, it has been masterminded by open-source software collective the Linux Foundation.
It has a 17-member steering committee, whose members include the aforementioned Mastercard and IBM subsidiary IBM Security, as well as Accenture, BrightHive, Cloudocracy, Continuum Loop, CULedger, Dhiway, esatus, Evernym, Finicity, Futurewei Technologies, IdRamp, Lumedic, MITRE, the Province of British Columbia and SICPA.
R3 and the blockchain center at the University of Arkansas are listed as “contributing members,” along with DIDx, GLEIF, The Human Colossus Foundation, iRespond, kiva.org, Marist College, Northern Block, Secours.io and TNO.
The consortium claims that modern companies “are struggling to protect and manage digital assets and data, especially in an increasingly complex enterprise environment,” a fact that “is compounding the already low consumer confidence in the use of personal data and is slowing innovation on opportunities like digital identity.”
Its solution is to “use digital identity models that leverage interoperable digital wallets and credentials” and the W3C Verifiable Credentials standard” to “improve digital trust and protect all forms of identity online.”
Multiple critics of blockchain and cryptocurrency have stated on numerous occasions that the industry is already beset with – and is being held back by a lack of standards and interoperability issues. And although numerous possible solutions have previously been floated (with varying degrees of success), perhaps the combined weight of the companies involved will help it impose standards and provide an effective hub for open-source blockchain and crypto projects.
The collective says it will split into four working groups, including a Technical Stack Working Group and a Governance Stack Working Group.
Two development groups, the Utility Foundry Working Group and the Ecosystem Foundry Working Group, will also help “projects that wish to collaborate on the development of ToIP utility networks” or create “entire ToIP digital trust ecosystems.”