China has been pushing blockchain tech as a key area for development since its ban on cryptocurrencies back in 2018. The regulators in China are big fans of keeping everything in control, and a blockchain-based infrastructure could potentially give the government more control.
There have been several reports about blockchain being implemented throughout the nation across several industries pertaining to both the public and private sectors. The tech giants in the nation have also been actively working to promote the use and development of tech.
Now, per a recent report, a consortium of 17 Chinese tech companies are forming a blockchain consortium to focus on the development of Distributed Identity technology in the latest examples of Chinese firms coming to drive innovation through blockchain tech.
According to a report from the Daily Economic News, the new consortium is being led by the state-owned China Banknote Blockchain Technology Research Institute and Feitian Technology, alongside major names like Baidu, Tencent Cloud, WeBank, JD.com, and UnionPay Electronic Payment Research Institute.
Many of these tech giants already have a history with blockchain tech. These institutes will now be collaborating with the government bodies to research the current state of digital identities, like distributed public key infrastructure cryptography, credentials, and DID’s advantages.
Secondly, it will also explore commercial applications, including cross-industry projects.
A national DID network
Dubbed the Distributed Identity Alliance (DID Alliance), the alliance will also work on building a DID network throughout China to using open source technologies. There are also plans to adopt international standards and bridge the gap between local companies and international digital identity alliances.
The alliance comes at a time where the world is shifting towards self-sovereign identity-based systems where individuals control ownership and access to their own data. In such a system individuals have complete control over their data.
However, it is unsure whether the regulators in China would be accepting such a system. This could be why the alliance translates to “distributed” rather than “decentralized,” identity.
The alliance is another example of how the government and private entities are working together to promote and develop blockchain tech in the nation.
The news comes days after three mobile network operators in South Korea launched a mass scale DID solution in which a version of a driver’s license can be stored on a smartphone that can be used as a legal identity tool. Hence, the need to disclose personal details for basic reasons is eliminated.