Accord Project, Open Identity Exchange, DIF and Sovrin Collaborate for Legal Distributed Ledger Identities

The Accord Project and the Open Identity Exchange (OIX) have partnered to establish open source techno-legal standards and code for the intersection between smart legal contracts and digital identity. The standards and trust framework will be supported by a number of the leading standards bodies in the world. The OIX works to accelerate the adoption of digital identity services based on open standards, is certified by the US Government, and counts the UK Government, Google, Microsoft and others as executive members. The Decentralized Identity Foundation, Sovrin, and Trusted IoT Alliance are also collaborating, supporting the standards, and assisting in the development of the open source code embodying the standards.

Digital identity is currently undergoing a significant paradigm shift to improve the privacy, trust, and accuracy of online identities used in a wide variety of contexts. This is spurred by the advent and adoption of distributed ledger technologies. “As the Accord Project develops standards to promote digital transactions that are enabled by smart legal contracts, it is crucial to get the identity aspect of contracting right,” said Accord Project Co-director, Houman Shadab. “Collaborating with the OIX ensures that the Accord Project’s open source standards and technology for smart legal contracts will incorporate leading approaches to digital identity, including those that promote decentralization, self-sovereign identity, global interoperability, and the use of distributed ledger technology. It is important that organizations that start using smart legal contract technology are building from an industry recognized set of standards. We need to know, canonically, how to begin to introduce data-driven functionalities into legal contracts”.

The partnership will begin by publishing a white paper on an industry standard for decentralized digital identity and the supporting trust framework for smart legal contracts. Collaboration on the white paper ensures standardization and widespread support for trusted transactions undertaken or facilitated by data-oriented smart legal contracts. Identities will be extensible such that they can be adopted for other legal applications on distributed ledger technologies. The open standards will form part of the open source Accord Protocol for smart legal contracting.

OIX Chairman Don Thibeau remarked that: “The Open Identity Exchange is excited to partner with the Accord Project for the development of open identity standards and a trust framework for smart legal contracts. Distributed ledger technology provides a new vista for digital identity, as well as for contractual agreements. Through this collaboration, the Open Identity Exchange and the Accord Project will produce open cross industry standards for a new paradigm of legal contracts — smart legal contracts. This first generation of standards will form the basis of wider legal industry standards for distributed ledger technologies. These standards will be supported by a variety of standards development bodies and the Open Identity Exchange membership. OIX’s Blockchain, Identity and Governance Forum together with the Accord Project will look to develop governance models, examine the role of smart contracts and trust frameworks to establish the transparency and control necessary for consortiums and systems to facilitate trusted transactions at a high volume, velocity and variety of applications.”

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About the Accord Project

The Accord Project is the leading organization for the development of standards for smart legal contracts and distributed ledger applications in the legal industry. The consortium operates in collaboration with Hyperledger, the International Association for Commercial and Contract Management, Clio, and a number of leading trade associations, organizations, and law firms. The Project incubates the standard distributed ledger protocol for the legal industry. The purpose of the Project is to enable lawyers, law firms, trade associations, and corporates to help establish open standards for the future of contracting; and to produce open-source code for smart legal contracts and distributed ledger usage by legal and business users. To learn more about the Accord Project, visit www.accordproject.org.

About the Open Identity Exchange

The Open Identity Exchange (OIX) builds trust in online identity. OIX develops and registers trust frameworks: pre-negotiated sets of business, legal, and technical agreements that provide mutual assurance that online transactions can be trusted. OIX is a neutral, technology agnostic, non-profit trade organization where members from across multi-business sectors can come together to share domain expertise, joint research, and pilot projects to test real world use cases to drive the expansion of existing online services and the adoption of new online solutions. Market leading members include Barclays, CA Technologies, Equifax, Experian, Google, KPMG, LexisNexis, Microsoft, NRI, Ping Identity, Symantec, UK Cabinet Office, Timpson and Verizon. To learn more about the OIX, visit www.openidentityexchange.org.

About the Decentralized Identity Foundation

The Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) is the leading consortium for decentralized identity standards and technology. The membership includes Microsoft, Hyperledger, R3, IBM, Sovrin, IOTA, and Accenture. The goal of DIF is to offer decentralized identities anchored by blockchain IDs and linked to zero-trust datastores that are universally discoverable. To learn more about the DIF, visit www.identity.foundation.

About Sovrin

The Sovrin Foundation is a non-profit producing the world’s first Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) network. The Sovrin network utilizes distributed ledger technology to enable users control their own identity and can create verifiable claims based upon attested attributes without a centralized controlling authority. Sovrin code is open source and also forms the basis of Hyperledger Indy. To learn more about Sovrin, visit www.sovrin.org.