Microsoft Developing Blockchain-based Decentralized ID System


If you still had any doubts about blockchain technology becoming increasing mainstream with every passing day, you need to look no further than today’s news out of Redmond, Washington. According to an announcement by software giant Microsoft, the company will use blockchain for storing and processing ID-related data. Through a note penned by Alex Simons, the Director of Program Management at Microsoft’s Identity Division, the company argues that using the emerging technology will help improve privacy and security across the digital world.

“We believe it is essential for individuals to own and control all elements of their digital identity. Rather than grant broad consent to countless apps and services, and have their identity data spread across numerous providers, individuals need a secure, encrypted digital hub where they can store their identity data and easily control access to it”

According to Microsoft, on-chain scaling solutions fail to meet transaction capacity needs, even though some blockchain communities (read Bitcoin Cash) have successfully increased blockchain sizes. However, that approach “degrades the decentralized state of the network and cannot reach the millions of transactions per second the system would generate at world-scale”. That is why Microsoft is developing an off-chain solution – like the Lightning Network – that will allow it to process massive volumes of ID data without congesting the blockchain network.

“We are collaborating on decentralized Layer 2 protocols that run atop these public blockchains to achieve global scale, while preserving the attributes of a world class DID (decentralized identity) system”

Microsoft has been collaborating with the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) on the development of the new software, and their joint research has apparently come to the conclusion that, in addition to cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology is well-suited for a number of other applications. For now, the company says it will add support for decentralized identities to its Microsoft Authenticator app, which is one of the most popular apps in the segment alongside Authy and Google Authenticator.

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