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What is an Identity?

In Contour, an Identity represents an individual transacting party. An Identity could be a legal entity, or logical entity, such as a department, group, office or branch. Contour does not make any requirement as to what an Identity represents, but does make mandate that each Identity is associated to a legal entity.

At present (Contour 7.0), there is a one to one relationship between identities and Nodes, therefore each Identity on Contour requires its own Node. User information and Transaction data are stored within the Node representing the Identity. For large corporate or bank groups with a complex structure, this may result in multiple, separate systems, transaction data sets and user groups - one for each Identity, each with its own Nodes.

In the next version (Contour 8.0), one node will support more than one identity. Refer to the release documentation for details

How many Identities do I need?

Identities enable user and transaction data segregation. As each member is different, it will be up to each member how they would like to structure their Identities, but we recommend that they use the same current structure as in pre-existing banking arrangements to ensure a smooth transition to Contour and minimal impact to your trading counterparties. This may be an Identity per branch for banks and per business unit for corporates.

In order to create an Identity, and for others on the network to understand what that Identity represents, it must be associated to a legal entity. The legal entity information (name, registered address) is always shown alongside the more friendly Identity name. The Legal Entity association cannot be changed once the Identity is set-up, to do so may invalidate the previous or in-flight transaction between Members.