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Circle and TBD Aim to Launch DeFi-Focused Foundation

TBD and Circle have launched a partnership centered around open source adoption of decentralized identity.

The collaboration, announced Monday (Oct. 23), will also culminate in a non-profit founded by TBD — Block’s decentralized finance (DeFi) company — and USDC-issuer Circle, the companies said in a news release provided to PYMNTS.

That foundation, the release said, will focus on creating, disseminating and adopting decentralized identity and credential standards, simplified naming standards for wallet addresses and open payment applications supported by payment stablecoins such as USDC.  

“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.”

According to the release, the foundation’s mission is to act as a “vendor neutral home” to develop open source standards and decentralized technologies, which would in turn promote mainstream adoption of decentralized IDs, credentials and digital currency in payments and financial applications. 

The companies hope to invite other “leading organizations and open source developers,” to take part in the program, being launched in collaboration with the Linux Foundation

“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,” said Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of Circle. “None is more insidious than the lack of universally portable digital identity and globally harmonized digital wallet naming standards.” 

With the foundation, he added, the goal is to make blockchain-native finance and commerce safer, more trusted and simpler to use for people everywhere.”

As noted here earlier this month, blockchain-led innovations around programmability, immutability and global transaction delivery have been increasingly moving the payments industry’s capabilities forward.

“We see the tokenization of real-world assets as about as exciting as anything out there,” Pat Thelen, vice president of global account management at Ripple, told PYMNTS.

“If you apply the technology to industries that have been around forever and are fraught with manual processes and illiquidity and latency, there are some real opportunities where so much cost can be taken out of the equation,” Thelen said. “You can get pretty clever as these use cases unfold.”