Microsoft to Use Blockchain to Create Decentralized ID System

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Microsoft on Monday introduced a plan to make use of blockchain know-how to develop decentralized identities, or DIDs, supported by Microsoft Authenticator.

Microsoft formally joined the ID2020 Alliance final month as a founding member. The Alliance goals to develop a blockchain-based id system for weak populations — one that may function throughout numerous blockchains, cloud suppliers, authorities companies and different organizations.

Microsoft’s Authenticator cellular app can confirm a consumer’s id with out the necessity for passwords. The corporate hopes to broaden Authenticator’s use to verify the identities of DID customers. The id knowledge is saved in an ID Hub that’s encrypted with a cryptographic key.

Microsoft has been working with a consortium of main corporations which have come collectively to develop a set of requirements and protocols that might enable numerous entities to speak with one another and work interoperably. For instance, a gaggle of Swiss monetary Establishments, know-how corporations, traders and different corporations final fall bought collectively to kind the Multichain Asset Administration Affiliation, which is designed to create a brand new imaginative and prescient for asset administration utilizing blockchain.

The proposal is a extremely attention-grabbing one, and it builds on the efforts Microsoft has made with the Decentralized Identification Basis and the ID2020 initiative, mentioned Mark Nunnikhoven, vp for cloud safety at Development Micro.

“That is an space the place Microsoft has made an influence corporately — the place Energetic Listing is the de facto customary for company id — however has but to have the success they needed within the public Web,” he informed the E-Commerce Instances.

Digital Affirmation

The World Meals Programme has used the ethereum cryptocurrency as a type of identification for Syrian civil warfare refugees who want meals vouchers, creating one of many world’s largest makes use of of blockchain for digital identification, famous Jessica Groopman, trade analyst at Kaleido Insights.

The Microsoft plan can be one of many few at-scale deployments of blockchain id on the earth, she informed the E-Commerce Instances, as almost the entire present deployments are in proof-of-concept mode.

“As well as, this specific improvement provides Microsoft a entrance row seat to cutting-edge privateness and safety configurations — each of that are ongoing vulnerabilities and price facilities for Microsoft,” Groopman identified.

The undertaking might assist Microsoft Authenticator turn into the inspiration of no matter self-sovereign id hub emerges from this undertaking, she added.

Scaled-Up Method

“This seems to be like a safe and scalable strategy,” mentioned Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Analysis. “Nevertheless, the ID2020 Alliance has its work minimize out for it.”

There are large challenges concerned on this undertaking, he informed the E-Commerce Instances. For one, will probably be troublesome to achieve the affected populations after which persuade them this isn’t some sort of “new world order” world ID program.

The populations that the majority want DIDs seemingly have little to no know-how entry or expertise in creating digital identities, Teich added. Then there’s the difficulty of convincing and enabling native governments to make use of digital DIDs as trusted identification.

“If these challenges could be solved, even for just one sizable nation,” Teich mentioned, “digital ID will likely be transformative.”

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