Microsoft, the world’s sixth-largest IT company by revenue, will have both cryptocurrency and stock markets watching as they announce its blockchain-based decentralized identity system at Consensus 2018 in New York City.
The news may be especially bullish for Bitcoin as Microsoft developers hint they will use the actual Bitcoin chain to build the platform.
While Microsoft Founder Bill Gates has been an outspoken critic of cryptocurrencies, calling them ‘nonsense,’ the company has ventured into blockchain over the last twelve months in order to enhance its Microsoft Authenticator app.
Ankur Patel, Principal Program Manager of Microsoft’s Identity Division, is leading these incubations and explained in a blog post the value of digital identity for the billions of people living today in the world, and how blockchain technology will provide an easy to use self-owned identity to completely control how data is accessed and used.
“To achieve this vision, 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.”
Patel made the case for decentralized identity in order to own and control one’s identity in a system where privacy is by design and built in from the ground up. Microsoft’s project wants trust to be earned by individuals and built by the community, unlike traditional identity systems which are mostly geared toward authentication and access management.
The company has been participating in the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) to set up a decentralized identity ecosystem built on standard, open source technologies, protocols, and reference implementations. Patel said his team is collaboratively developing Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs), Identity Hubs, Universal DID Resolver, and…