TBD and Circle Announce New Initiative Enabling Decentralized Identity, Credentials, and Open Payment Standards

Mon Oct 23 2023
Published by Jingle

TBD, a business from Block focused on open source decentralized technologies, and Circle Internet Financial (Circle), today announced a new initiative focused on accelerating open source adoption of decentralized identity, credentials, digital wallet naming and open payment standards. 

TBD and Circle share a commitment to building a more open and inclusive financial system. Together, they intend to leverage their scale, technical and operational capabilities to form a non-profit foundation that will make digital finance more accessible to everyone. The organization will address the creation, dissemination and widespread adoption of decentralized identity and credential standards, as well as open payment applications supported by payment stablecoins like USDC. It will also work to simplify and create universal naming conventions to make it easier to use today's wallet addresses.

The mission of the organization is to serve as the vendor neutral home for the development of open source standards and decentralized technologies to enable mainstream adoption of decentralized IDs, credentials, and digital currency and financial applications. Other leading organizations and open source developers, among others, will be invited to contribute to this initiative, which will be launched in collaboration with the Linux Foundation. The compliance and foundational trust frameworks will leverage open standards as per World Wide Web Consortium W3C, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) and OpenID Foundation (OIDF).

“Over 1.7 billion adults lack access to the banking system,” said Mike Brock, CEO of TBD. “The internet and wireless technology – combined with innovations in decentralized identity and payments – has given us the infrastructure we need to serve everyone. It’s time for an internet-native, open payments infrastructure to enable anyone to participate in the economy without permission from centralized intermediaries.”

“Building an internet financial system requires technological solutions to some of the world’s most stubborn challenges, which lock out billions of people from the digital economy. None is more insidious than the lack of universally portable digital identity and globally harmonized digital wallet naming standards. Together with TBD and, over time, other leading organizations, we aim to make blockchain-native finance and commerce safer, more trusted and simpler to use for people everywhere,” said Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO.

A new standards organization for decentralized technologies, credentials, and open payments

Foundation members will work together to contribute and promote open source standards, including technical specifications, open source software, and reference implementations focused on areas including:

  • Identity and Credential Standards to establish trust, including specifications, standards, and reference implementations for decentralized identity issuers, high assurance verifiable credentials for payment use cases, naming conventions to find and address counterparties via human-friendly names and URIs, and operational capabilities to grow and certify identity and credential issuers based on these standards. 

  • Open source liquidity protocol, to be contributed by TBD, along with specifications, reference implementations, and tools that work together with stablecoins and identity to support mainstream payments and commerce use cases, promoting wallet and financial service interoperability for highly scalable, low-cost, and trusted exchanges of value. 

A truly open ecosystem

The foundation is an open source community effort in collaboration with the Linux Foundation and will be open to additional strategic partners aligned with the vision of a decentralized and truly open global payments system. Innovators of all sizes in the identity and financial industries can come together and create the infrastructure needed for the entire ecosystem to easily access this new technological advancement in service of global-scale use cases.

“Creating a community around open standards in global digital payments is a catalyst for innovation in the financial services and other sectors,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to supporting and growing the open ecosystem for payment standards, and encourage organizations to join in this initiative.”

To learn more and get involved, visit tbd.website/foundation.

About TBD

As one of four businesses at Block (fka Square), TBD is focused on creating a decentralized future that returns ownership and control over your finances, data, and identity. Guided by this vision, TBD is building an open source developer platform and infrastructure that enables everyone to access and participate in the global economy.

Learn more at https://www.tbd.website

About Circle

Circle is a global financial technology firm that enables businesses of all sizes to harness the power of digital currencies and public blockchains for payments, commerce and financial applications worldwide. Circle is the issuer of USDC and EURC - highly liquid, interoperable, and trusted money protocols on the internet.  Circle’s open and programmable platform and APIs make it easy for organizations to run their internet-scale business, whether it is making international payments, building globally-accessible Web3 apps or managing their internal treasury. 

Learn more at https://circle.com

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, hardware, standards, and data. Linux Foundation projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure, including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, ONAP, PyTorch, RISC-V, SPDX, OpenChain, and more. The Linux Foundation focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users, and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org. The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.