Digital wallets offer a future that provides improved privacy and safety for everyone online.
Today marks the formal launch of the OpenWallet Foundation (OWF), the first global collaboration on open source code for interoperable, multi-purpose digital wallets. Although it may not be apparent right now, in the future we will look back on this and see it as a very important inflection point for the whole digital ecosystem.
Why? Because the universal digital wallet is going to be a critically important tool that has the potential to allow people to keep their personal data safe and private and build more trusted online relationships.
Our Gen cybersecurity experts have long recognized that the deepest problems in online fraud, misinformation, bot attacks, and other cybercrime were ultimately rooted in the ability for attackers to fake their identities and impersonate legitimate actors.
Although the Internet identity industry has spent 25 years developing public key infrastructure (PKI) and federated identity systems to combat these threats, they have not been able to hold back the massive tide of new AI-driven attacks. What’s worse, ransomware-as-a-service, deep fakes, and more recently, rapid advancements in the AI technology are escalating these concerns to a whole new level. It is rapidly becoming all but impossible for an ordinary mortal to determine what is or is not authentic online.
The solution lies in the new model of decentralized digital identity that, ironically, is based on the same way we have been proving our identity in the real world for centuries: with wallets containing credentials. Only now they will be digital wallets containing digital credentials.
Many smartphone users are already using some form of digital wallet on their devices. However these are proprietary digital wallets owned and controlled by the vendors of those devices, with a limited set capabilities and credentials they choose to support.
The future of the Internet — and most importantly of digital freedom — lies in the consumer having their choice of open standard digital wallets. Wallets that can accept digital credentials from any issuer, present them to any verifier, transact over any payment or value exchange network, and help manage your own set of trusted digital relationships — for life. And all of that across all popular platforms, with no walled gardens and vendors lock-ins.
This is the vision and mission of the OpenWallet Foundation: to bring together companies, government agencies, open source projects, and non-profit organizations from around the world to develop the core “engine” that anyone can use to build a secure, privacy-respecting multi-purpose digital wallet.
Our Premier membership in OWF underscores Gen’s commitment to the future of decentralized identity and digital trust infrastructure that we believe will be fundamental to powering Digital Freedom.