T-Mobile Next Blockchain Identity Platform & Hyperledger Sawtooth Is Here


It is highly unlikely that a mobile phone user has not come across T-MOBILE. The telecommunications giant enjoys a respectable client base across the world and is currently among the top three in the United States. Last year, the Telco revealed that it was working with Intel to create a blockchain database for use within the institution. This news did not come as a surprise, given the abundance of benefits the incorporation of blockchain technology brings to businesses. Bitcoin’s immense value and Ethereum's smart contracts are solid proof of blockchain's enormous potential.

T-Mobile Blockchain Project: Next Identity Platform

T-MOBILE recently rebranded their blockchain project, calling it the ‘Next Identity Platform.’ The project is powered by Hyperledger Sawtooth. In late February, representatives from Intel and T-Mobile shared their views on blockchain technology at the University of Washington. These were Chris Spanton, an architect from T-Mobile, and Kelly Olson, the man at the helm of Intel’s blockchain department.

During his speech, Chris stated that the ‘forceful' integration of blockchain technology is the main reason behind the failure of distributed ledger start-ups. He reiterated that most businesses adopt this technology without knowing where to apply it. Concerning the Next Identity Platform, Chris explained that T-Mobile resorted to blockchain as it was the only viable option to solve their problems.

For a company of T-Mobile's magnitude, permission management is usually a challenge, primarily due to the multiple levels within the organization's hierarchy. Furthermore, the stringent regulations often enforced to bolster security only add to the complexity of the systems. In addition to the advantages of blockchain technology, Next Identity will still retain the capabilities of a traditional database. As Chris said, Next Identity will revolutionize internal audits at T-Mobile. Once the platform is in place, they will cryptographically track any changes made to the ledger, thanks to blockchain’s immutability.

About Hyperledger Sawtooth

The Next Identity Platform is a subsidiary of Hyperledger Sawtooth, which itself is a blockchain software platform. Hyperledger, a creation of the Linux Foundation, is a open-source platform for distributed ledger applications. Within Hyperledger there are several smaller projects, among which is Sawtooth, developed by the Intel Corporation.

How Does The Next Identity Platform Work?

Fundamentally, Next Identity is an API that enables users to control data on the Hyperledger blockchain using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Hence, users interact with the Hyperledger through a website. Surprisingly, T-MOBILE reached out for contributions from the online developer’s community, though the project is meant for the company’s internal use. This can be accessed on the GitHub online repository.

On his part, Kelly Olson revealed that Intel is the project’s key partner, a decision driven by the firm’s significant contribution to it’s Sawtooth project and the Hyperledger blockchain at large. Kelly added that Intel is actively participating in the blockchain revolution because innovative software and ideas require competent hardware to fully realize their respective potentials.

The adoption of blockchain technology by a prominent institution such as T-Mobile is a significant pointer that the blockchain revolution is on. Hopefully, this bold will set a precedent that other corporate Giants will emulate in the near future. The Next Identity Platform will be inaugurated before the end of the year.

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