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UN Agency, Mercy Corps, Microsoft Team On Blockchain Identity Project




The distributed ledger technology project Hyperledger, a United Nations agency, Microsoft, and Mercy Corps have joined the ID2020 Alliance as it seeks to develop a digital identity system based on blockchain technology.

The UN International Computing Center, along with Mercy Corps, Microsoft, and Hyperledger, have joined the public-private ID2020 Alliance. The announcement, which appeared in a January 22 press release, was initially made at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

One of the Alliance's major goals is to establish digital identities in a way that would be "complementary with existing identity management systems, including forms of legal identification issued by a government."

According to the statement, "more than 1.1 billion people – disproportionately women, children, and refugees – are unable to prove their identity." Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer believes that a digital identity system could help some of these people "access essential health and social services, apply for jobs, open mobile money accounts in their own name, and buy what they need most for themselves and their families."

ID2020 also aims to enhance individuals' "direct ownership of, and control over, their personal information."

While the press release notes that the group continues to "evaluate emerging and relevant technologies on an ongoing basis," its current work is deeply rooted in blockchain technology.

Dakota Gruener, ID2020's executive director, described the group's work thusly: "We are building an ecosystem of partners committed to working across national and institutional borders to address this challenge at scale."

Other backers of the Alliance include Accenture and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Adam Reese

Adam Reese is a Los Angeles-based writer interested in technology, domestic and international politics, social issues, infrastructure and the arts. Adam holds value in Ether, Bitcoin, and Monero.

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