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World Identity Network – New Initiative from Sir Richard Branson

World identity network

Sir Richard Branson has thrown his influence behind the drive to explore blockchain technology and harness what he believes is its huge potential to bring far reaching benefits to the world. During an exclusive Blockchain Summit organized on his Necker Island last week, the World Identity Network (WIN) was launched. The key objective of this global initiative is to catalyze progress towards universal ID and robust, secure, digital identification systems using 21st century technology solutions, such as the distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The initiative will be led by Mariana Dahan, former World Bank official and a prominent figure in the digital identity ecosystem. Dahan was the driving force behind the Identification for Development (ID4D) agenda – a global program she initiated that is now broadly embraced by the international donor community.

The United Nations Executive Director / Under-Secretary General, UNOPS Grete Faremo, commended WIN: “The international community has yet to fully explore blockchain technology. Quite simply the potential is immense – more transparency and greater efficiency could deliver real benefits to billions of people. So at UNOPS we are proud to support global initiatives like WIN aiming to bring these benefits to countries across the world, to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities.”    

“In this fast-paced environment, WIN has a critical contribution to make to promote cutting-edge knowledge on identity management and leverage the potential of new technologies, such as the blockchain,” said Carlos Santiso, Head of the Innovation for Citizen Services Division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). A number of developing nations in Latin America region, and elsewhere, have already expressed interest in accessing WIN’s advisory services and technical assistance.

Technology-agnostic and a neutral knowledge broker, WIN is working across the DLT spectrum, partnering with technology companies that do not only operate on the Bitcoin Blockchain but also use Ethereum and other open-source platforms, helping decision-makers to choose a solution that fits best their needs. To this end, the company is set to collaborate with the BitFury Group, ConsenSys uPort, IOTA, the Sovrin Foundation and the Secure Identity Alliance members.

“Blockchain creates a breakthrough opportunity for digital identity,” said David Treat, a managing director in Accenture’s blockchain business. “It has the unique ability to give individuals control over their personal information. Organizations like World Identity Network play an important part in enabling the public and private sectors to work together to create high impact solutions with new technologies. We are very pleased to support and contribute to these efforts.”

“The Secure Identity Alliance welcomes this new initiative and is looking forward to collaboration to explore the potential of the distributed ledger technology for inclusive development,” stated Jean-Claude Perrin, Vice-President of Strategy at Gemalto.

“We too share WIN’s mission to bring the world a secure universal digital identity solution and are excited to partner towards building the expertise needed to make blockchain identity a reality for everyone,” said Rouven Heck, Co-Founder and Project Lead at ConsenSys uPort.

“By coupling the experience of international programmes on rolling out electronic identity – like eIDAS in the EU countries – with innovative technologies like blockchain, WIN has the potential to be a game changer in the area,” said Andrea Servida, leading the eGovernment & Trust Unit in DG CONNECT at the European Commission.

“The Blockchain Summit on Necker Island is a very special venue for innovative projects to emerge. The BitFury Group is supportive of the World Identity Network mission and strongly believes in the power of the blockchain technology to change the world,” said Valery Vavilov, CEO of BitFury Group and co-host of the Blockchain Summit.

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