Credit union industry blockchain initiative CULedger has partnered with blockchain identity startup Evernym to develop a consumer-focused digital identity solution.
CULedger began in 2016 as an endeavor between CUNA, Mountain West Credit Union Association, and Best Innovation Group to develop a concept for a credit union system-wide permissioned distributed ledger platform.
Evernym is a software company that develops an open source sovereign identity blockchain. Having created and released Sovrin, the first open-source distributed ledger network dedicated to self-sovereign identity, Evernym works with leading companies, institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGO) to create and deploy new private-by-design solutions which give the individual true control and ownership of their personal data.
The new blockchain digital identity solution, called MyCUID, will enable credit union members to confidently protect themselves from financial fraud and identity theft, while enriching the trusted relationships members have with their credit unions. It will enable users to share only as much personal information as they need or want to in a given situation.
CULedger President and CEO John Ainsworth said in a press release that they created the blockchain system as a global digital identifier that permits their members to securely interact with their credit union.
“By giving individuals control over their personal identifiable information, MyCUID will create a truly secure and privacy-preserving flow of information to promote balance, fairness, diversity and competition in the digital economy,” said Ainsworth.
The digital identity solution uses a person-to-person network of distributed, private agents working in parallel with the distributed ledger to give credit union members a lifetime portable digital identity that “does not depend on any central authority and can never be taken away.” By enabling selective disclosure, identity owners can control how much data is shared in a particular context.
“Self-sovereign identity will change the very nature of the relationship that companies have with their customers, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting match for this breakthrough than credit unions, who know more about creating strong relationships than just about anybody,” said Evernym CEO Timothy Ruff. “Building MyCUID with the long-term benefit of the world’s more than 235 million credit union members in mind has been a vital process for Evernym. This is bound to have a profound impact on the financial lives of a great many consumers.
If widely adopted, the blockchain system will allow credit unions to serve an estimated two billion consumers that are considered underbanked or underserved across the globe.
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