IBM Joins the Sovrin Foundation as a Founding Steward

IBM Dedicates Blockchain and Security Resources to Support Decentralized Digital Identity Network

SALT LAKE CITY and ARMONK, NY, April 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Sovrin Foundation, a private-sector international non-profit, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the addition of IBM as a founding Steward of the Sovrin Network. As a Steward, IBM will collaborate with other Sovrin Stewards to create, operate and maintain the foundation’s decentralized digital identity network.

The foundation operates as a global public utility designed to provide permanent, private and trustworthy identity for every entity on the Internet. Along with other Stewards, IBM will dedicate hardware, security and network capacity to assist in the operation of this self-sovereign identity network which uses distributed ledger technology, or blockchain, to enable the secure exchange of cryptographically-signed credentials to prove the digital identity information in the identity owner’s possession.

In a digital economy, individuals and businesses need to establish secure, private and trusted transactions. However, the current centralized identity system is flawed. In 2017, more than 2.9 billion records were compromised from various security incidents across industries.* These damaging and costly security breaches are a consequence of the Internet being developed without a true identity layer. To address this infrastructure flaw, the Sovrin Network was purpose-built to add the missing identity layer to the Internet and provides a complete approach to identity from the distributed ledger to device, making secure and private self-sovereign digital identity possible for the first time in history.

“The Sovrin technology is poised to change the nature of identity interactions for untold millions of people, organizations and connected devices," said Dr. Phil Windley, chair of the Sovrin Foundation. “IBM’s position as a leader in blockchain technology and their commitment to supporting and solving the problem of identity for all makes them a natural partner in this effort.”

“We believe that the adoption of blockchain is an opportunity for a new trust model to take hold where individuals and organizations can securely share private information and credentials without an intermediary. This new model gives control back to the individual, who defines how personal information is shared and with whom,” said Marie Wieck, General Manager, IBM Blockchain, “Through our partnership with Sovrin, IBM can help individuals and organizations accelerate adoption of self-sovereign identity standards as a critical component for responsible data stewardship."

IBM and the Sovrin Foundation share a common vision that every individual, organization, and connected device have its own truly independent digital identity, in order to form more trusting interactions. To help achieve this vision and ensure these digital identities are interoperable at a global scale, Sovrin Foundation Stewards run open source distributed ledger technology administered by the Hyperledger Foundation, as Project Indy

The journey toward global decentralized self-sovereign identity begins with a strong commitment to standards and interoperability. This first of its kind self-sovereign identity network was created by an international team of experts, including IBM, across a diverse group of organizations. It is based on emerging standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that standardize the format of digitally-signed credentials. These verifiable credentials enable the cryptographically secure, peer-to-peer exchange of identity information in a manner that mimics the way identity attributes are exchanged in the physical world. The use of public blockchains provides decentralized registration and discovery of the public keys needed to verify digital signatures. These two capabilities enable a new way to establish a global public utility for self-sovereign identity—lifetime portable digital identity that does not depend on any central authority and protects privacy at the levels required by regulators around the world. In addition, self-sovereign identity solutions such as Sovrin can be used with enterprise fraud protection and authentication solutions like IBM Security Trusteer and IBM Security Cloud Identity.


 *Source: 2018 IBM X-Force Threat Index -

About the Sovrin Foundation
The international, non-profit Sovrin Foundation is governed by a constitutional Trust Framework that ensures its independence from government or industry influence and codifies its dedication to providing self-sovereign digital identity for all. The Sovrin network is operated by independent stewards and uses the power of a hybrid distributed ledger as a fast, private and secure framework for providing every person, organization, and connected device a permanent identity with which to transact online and operate securely in everyday life. Learn more about the Trust Framework underlying the Sovrin network here.


About IBM

IBM is recognized as the leading enterprise blockchain provider. The company's research, technical and business experts have broken barriers in transaction processing speeds, developed the most advanced cryptography to secure transactions, and are contributing millions of lines of open source code to advance blockchain for businesses. IBM is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. Since 2016, IBM has worked with hundreds of clients across financial services, supply chain, government, retail, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications, and operates a number of networks running live and in production. The cloud-based IBM Blockchain Platform delivers the end-to-end capabilities that clients need to quickly activate and successfully develop, operate, govern and secure their own business networks. IBM is an early member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. For more information on IBM Digital Identity, visit For more information about IBM Blockchain, visit or follow us on Twitter at @ibmblockchain.


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