The Sovrin Foundation Names Cisco Founding Steward

Cisco to support the world’s first distributed ledger purpose built for self-sovereign identity

Salt Lake City, June 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Sovrin Foundation announced the addition of Cisco as a founding Steward. In that role, Cisco will operate and maintain a validator node tasked with ensuring the availability and integrity of the world’s first distributed ledger purpose-built for self-sovereign identity, which comprises the Sovrin Network’s core.

Self-sovereign identity (SSI) refers to digital identity that is decentralized, secure, portable, private and completely trustworthy. SSI is a revolutionary, user-centric model for managing identity that is poised to supplant the siloed and federated approaches that have defined the Internet to date and proved so deeply flawed and damaging.

“Cisco is among the most innovative and important companies on the planet,” said Sovrin Foundation Executive Director Heather C. Dahl. “It’s difficult to overstate the value of adding a company of Cisco’s stature to our already impressive list of Stewards.”

Cisco is one of nearly 40 founding stewards, joining such innovators as IBM, Deutsche Telekom and the law firm of Perkins Coie.

“In order for blockchain technology to become mainstream, the industry needs to support the development of global blockchain standards and ecosystems,” said Anoop Nannra, Cisco’s head of blockchain initiatives. “As a leader in developing vast and highly complex systems, we support the Decentralized Identifier standard on which Sovrin is based, for how it can extend seamlessly between devices, networks, and ecosystems."

Sovrin Foundation Chair Dr. Phil Windley has spent much of his career as a technologist and professor of computer science seeking an enduring solution to digital identity. He says the advent of cryptographically secured, distributed ledgers -- commonly referred to as blockchains -- proved pivotal in making SSI a possibility.

“The Internet was architected without an authentic identity layer, and the problems created by the username and password approach initially constructed to deal with this shortcoming are legendary,” said Windley. “Blockchain technology provided the missing link in the web’s long evolution toward a true solution to this multi-billion-dollar problem. Cisco’s eagerness to get involved is a testament to the company’s vision and leadership.”

As a Steward, Cisco will run open source software administered by the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project Indy and originally invented by SSI application developer Evernym. The Sovrin Network is an instance of Indy. Cisco is also a founding member of Hyperledger.

The international non-profit Sovrin Foundation is tasked with implementing the principles outlined in the constitutional Trust Framework developed to ensure that the Sovrin Network remains an interoperable, shared global public utility protected from the undue influence or weakness of any entity or interest.


About Sovrin
The international, nonprofit Sovrin Foundation is governed by a constitutional Trust Framework that ensures its independence from government or industry influence and codifies its dedication to providing a 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 and operate securely online. Learn more about the Trust Framework underlying the Sovrin Network here.


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