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GAIN readies for December launch of POC group for digital identity interoperability

GAIN readies for December launch of POC group for digital identity interoperability

The Global Assured Identity Network (GAIN) is working on a participation agreement for parties interested in joining a proof-of-concept community group which will see real-world relying parties and digital identity providers come together and begin to test the network’s interoperability plans.

The Open Identity Exchange (OIX) held a workshop this week on the Global Trust Framework required for the GAIN project. GAIN aims to bring true interoperability for identity globally, meaning an individual could use their credentials from one country to, for example, open a bank account in another. This would be achieved via existing OpenID standards via APIs.

The system would allow banks to take on the role of identity information provider as they have already taken customers through KYC. Sparkassen and VR-Banken, Germany’s largest retail and cooperative banks have joined, as has Sweden’s BankID verification system, according to members at the workshop. Consortia of banks from Canada and Australia are expected. Financial institutions from Africa have signed up, as have Adobe, DocuSign, and even Disney.

“It’s a really extraordinary opportunity for folks who want to see actual movement in the real world on a topic that has seen a lot of conversation but not so much movement in the last three decades,” said Donna Beatty from the OIDF, speaking at the GAIN workshop.

The proof-of-concept community group is awaiting the finalizing of the participation agreement. Those taking part will have to agree to terms such as having to share everything, keeping nothing as proprietary and agreeing that GAIN is not a commercial venture. The community group is open to all relying parties and identity providers.

A timeline is beginning to emerge. This winter is going to see an ‘International Listening Tour’ where identity providers and relying parties are put in rooms together around the world to discuss how their systems can interact, the provisioning of verifiable claims, IDP selection, trust management, and support of both federated and self-sovereign identity (SSI) approaches.

GAIN hopes for a demo platform to be ready in spring 2022, to allow for a clearer roadmap of the next steps to be developed over the summer.

The system is expected to start simply, then build in additional capacities for certain contexts and to cater to the needs of SSI systems.

The network will also need to develop a business model and decide whether it will be an independent governing entity.


This post was updated at 7:26pm Eastern on November 7, 2021 to correct the German financial institutions identified.

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