During the Consensus Conference 2018, Microsoft, the sixth largest IT company announced the launching of its distributed identification system using blockchain technology. This system has been developed in order to oversee the stock market and cryptocurrencies.
This announcement could be groundbreaking for Bitcoin as the IT company suggested that real Bitcoin chains could be used to build the platform of this new revolutionizing program. From another point of view, this declaration can come as a surprise as Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, publicly criticized cryptocurrency by calling it “nonsense”.
One can wonder why ultimately the company still went ahead and entered the growing blockchain field. Chief project manager of the Microsoft’s authentication project team, Ankur Patel, explained how blockchain technology is important for all individuals and how it can provide a simple way to own and dispose of one’s personal data. This means that people would own their digital identity and could monitor themselves the use and access to their information.
“In order to realize this vision, we believe that it is very important for individuals to own and control their digital identities.
Individuals need a secure, encrypted digital center where they can store their identity data and easily control access to it instead of the default authorization. Give countless applications and services, and have their identity data spread across many providers.”– Ankur Patel, Chief Project Manager
This new project is based on the belief that identity authentication and access management that are usually used in traditional identity system don’t convey trust like individuals and communities do. To support what is now considered the future of digital space, Microsoft participates in the construction of the DIF, the Distributed Identity Foundation, in order to build a distributed identity ecosystem.
Based on algorithms, standard open source technologies, and reference data, Microsoft and the DIF are working on developing identification centers, distributed identifiers or DIDs, verifiable certificates, and universal DID parsers.
Ankur Patel explains, that in order to ensure an operation that works on the same scale as more traditional systems, the project needs an underlying technology that is more operational than some blockchain platforms. Some individuals from the Bitcoin community believe that the Chief manager’s comment suggest that Microsoft might use the Bitcoin Lighting Network to develop its identity system.