Crossword Cybersecurity’s Identiproof demonstrates early commitment to Open Badges V3 in the Jobs for the Future Plugfest

7 July 2022 – London, UK – Crossword Cybersecurity Plc (AIM:CCS, “Crossword”, the “Company” or the “Group”), the cybersecurity solutions company focused on cyber strategy and risk, is pleased to announce that its Identiproof verifiable credentials (VC) product has successfully achieved its first milestone at the recently held Jobs for the Future (JFF) Plugfest. The plugfest focused on making verified digital Learning and Employment Records (LERs) more widely and safely accessible to a larger number of employers via digital wallets. Twenty companies from the USA, Europe and Australasia participated in the first JFF Plugfest held on 6 June 2022.

Crossword is participating in the project through its involvement with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Verifiable Credentials for Education Task Force (VC-EDU) initiative. Crossword participated in the technical discussions, and created a demo, using Identiproof’s iPhone wallet connected to its Issuer. As a result, Identiproof has successfully passed the first milestone requirement of displaying certificates in a user-friendly format as a verifiable credential as defined by the Open Badges V3 standard.

The JFF Plugfest plays an essential role in driving the growth of a skills-based marketplace, especially important at this time of labour shortages, by enabling employees to hold their LERs in their digital wallets. Digital LERs are digital resumés with secure, verifiable, and readily accessible records of people’s skills, educational experiences, and work histories.

The JFF Plugfest is being organised in the USA by JFF, the National LER Advisory Council, the National Governors Association and Brain Trust, in order to demonstrate interworking between W3C VC products, and is being funded by Walmart (amongst others).

According to the National Governors Association, governors and state leaders in the USA are concerned about the current labour shortage, occurring during a time when so many skilled workers are unemployed or underemployed. Skills-based approaches to hiring and recruiting can make pathways to good careers more broadly accessible to a wider segment of the workforce and reduce workforce inequities by focusing on what workers can do, not on the degrees or credentials they’ve earned.

Participation in the JFF Plugfest and working with the Open Badges V3 standard places Crossword and its Identiproof platform at the forefront of the market in the drive for interoperability in the education sector. With 10.8 million certificates issued for vocational and other qualifications in England in the 2020 to 2021 academic year, the education sector is one of the exciting sectors for Identiproof to support digitisation and improved security through VC.

Jake Holloway, Chief Product Officer at Crossword, commented: “Identiproof is at the forefront of the credentials verification sector, and we are delighted to be participating in this prestigious project with leading organisations in the USA. Credentials verification is a critical requirement in matching skills and jobs. This is particularly important in the fast-moving technology sector, where coding and programming skill sets are in high demand but hard to quickly and easily verify at present. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the move towards the digitalisation of everything, and credentials verification is one of the key growth areas.”

David Chadwick, R&D Director at Crossword, added: “As Crossword’s leading Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) product, Identiproof is targeted at the professional qualification’s market, amongst others, demonstrating interoperability with other verifiable credentials products will increasingly become a “must-have” customer requirement. Playing a leading role in specifying the technical requirements for JFF will allow Crossword to ensure that Identiproof stays ahead of the crowd”.

The JFF Plugfest has more than sufficient funds to award every successful participant at least $10K per completed Plugfest milestone. Two further Plugfest milestones are envisaged, to demonstrate credential issuing interoperability and credential verification interoperability. The next Plugfest is scheduled for November 2022.

Identiproof’s VC technology has wide ranging applications including digital ticketing, certificates, licenses, memberships, passports, proof of ownerships and many others. It provides a central technology in applications for the issuing of digital certificates and documents that cannot be forged or transferred, and that respect the privacy of the holders of those certificates. It does this through selective disclosure, whereby the recipient requests the minimum of information in conformance with GDPR. Identiproof is one of the first systems built to the 2019 W3C recommendations: The Verifiable Credentials Data Model and Web Authentication (FIDO2) – two new global web security standards.

Verifiable Credentials Limited, the provider of Identiproof™, was acquired by Crossword in May 2021. Identiproof achieved its early adoption of the W3C verifiable credentials standard thanks to Emeritus Professor David Chadwick being one of the six co-authors and editors of the standard and a well-known expert in the field of digital identity and verifiable credentials.

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Lisa Baker is the Editor of International Business News. As the Owner of Need to See IT Publishing, Lisa is an experienced business and technology journalist and publisher.