SecureKey taps IBM to put identity on the blockchain

Posted March 20, 2017

"IBM has applied decades of experience running the world's largest transaction systems for banks, airlines, governments and retailers to build the most secure blockchain services for the enterprise", said Marie Wieck, general manager of IBM Blockchain. The network will be created to make it easier for consumers to verify they are who they say they are, in a privacy-enhanced, security-rich and efficient way.

The launch of the network is targeted at being later this year and consumers can expect to be able to the identity verification service for new bank accounts, driver's licenses and utilities.

Based on the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0, the BaaS will sit on IBM's "High Security Business Network" which is sold on a number of claims of full-stack security implementations, including secure service containers and tamper-responsive hardware security modules.

The IBM High Security Business Network offer features such as tamper-responsive hardware security modules created to protect encrypted data for the storage cryptographic keys, and secure service containers for protecting code in blockchain applications by essentially encapsulating them I a virtual appliance. "This method is an entirely different approach to identity verification, and together with SecureKey, we have a head start on putting it on the blockchain".

While blockchain technologies have a reputation for being secure, IBM noted the underlying infrastructure needs to be robust from cyber attacks coming from both outside and inside organisations.

The company is also looking to make blockchain more accessible to businesses with a developer tool called Fabric Composer, based on the Hyperledger Fabric code. "This is a prime example of the type of innovation permissioned blockchain networks can accelerate".

IBM is one of the companies that are known for their interest in the blockchain.

Canada's leading banks, including BMO, CIBC, Desjardins, RBC, Scotiabank and TD joined the digital identity ecosystem in October, 2016, investing $27M collectively in SecureKey. Clients ranging from startup Everledger to financial services firms Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Northern Trust are among the organisations already running their DLT applications on IBM's Hyperledger Fabric. "Canada has an important opportunity to innovate with emerging technologies like blockchain to advance digital identity in Canada".