Microsoft thinks blockchain can prove your digital identity

Blockchain lets users remain in control of their data, says vendor

Microsoft plans to use public blockchains to provide decentralised IDs (DIDs) via its Authenticator app.

Redmond believes that using public blockchains, which serve as decentralised identity systems for cryptocurrencies, could help make the internet as accessible as possible to everyone, whether they're starting a business or shopping online.

"To achieve this vision, we believe it is essential for individuals to own and control all elements of their digital identity," Ankur Patel, principal programme manager at Microsoft's Identity Division, said. 

"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."

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Microsoft said it has explored a range of different decentralised storage systems, but found blockchains provided the most robust protocols for enabling DIDs.

This self-owned identity platform ensures data is accessible, without bypassing privacy and control, offers trust because it's so widely used and ensures the user always has access to their own information. It's also open and interoperable, meaning it can be used worldwide and isn't constrained by unique elements or ownership by third parties.

"We are humbled and excited to take on such a massive challenge, but also know it can't be accomplished alone," Patel added. "We are counting on the support and input of our alliance partners, members of the Decentralized Identity Foundation, and the diverse Microsoft ecosystem of designers, policy makers, business partners, hardware and software builders."

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