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 Summitorganized on hisNecker Island last week, theWorld 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 21stcentury technology solutions, such as the distributed ledger technology (DLT).
TheUnited NationsExecutive 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,” saidCarlos Santiso, Head of the Innovation for Citizen Services Division of theInter-American Development Bank (IDB). A number of developing nations inLatin Americaregion, 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 theBitFury Group,ConsenSys uPort,IOTA, theSovrin Foundationand theSecure Identity Alliancemembers.
“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,” statedJean-Claude Perrin, Vice-President of Strategy atGemalto.
“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,” saidRouven Heck, Co-Founder and Project Lead atConsenSys 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,” saidAndrea Servida, leading the eGovernment & Trust Unit in DG CONNECT at theEuropean Commission.
“The Blockchain Summit on Necker Island is a very special venue for innovative projects to emerge. TheBitFury Groupis supportive of the World Identity Network mission and strongly believes in the power of the blockchain technology to change the world,” saidValery Vavilov, CEO of BitFury Group and co-host of the Blockchain Summit.
Kirstie Magowan is the managing editor of IT Chronicles. Kirstie is an experienced journalist and publisher who has been working in the IT Service Management industry since 1999. Kirstie is a regular speaker at industry conferences globally.