Microsoft to Introduce New Decentralized Identity Infrastructure on Bitcoin Blockchain

By Tracy Hannes | May 14, 2019

The tech heavyweight Microsoft is planning to introduce a brand new decentralized identity (DID) network, developed directly on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Specifically, the new decentralized infrastructure integration – dubbed “Identity Overlay Network (ION)” – is an open source project, co-developed by the Decentralized Identity Foundation, built upon the theory of how different systems communicate with one another.

For instance, if Facebook users wanted to access an external account like Airbnb, a program inside the software will transfer their personal Facebook data to that third-party service to verify. Ion is expected to take charge of these decentralized identifiers, confirming whether that user is the right owner of transferred information.

This new development from Microsoft could become a game-changing technical feature, able to create a profound impact on the industry. Microsoft pointed out the current throughput problem – the operational efficiency of blockchain systems nowadays could not meet the transactional demand of “a world full of DIDs” – and believed that ION could solve it, ramping up the number of transactions conducted every second ten times, compared to current statistics.

Daniel Buchner – program manager for the Microsoft Identity team – remarked that decentralized networks aimed to remove the control apps, services, and organizations placed upon emails or usernames.

Microsoft’s plan is to build a network where “billions of people and countless devices can securely interact over an interoperable system built on standards and open-source components.” The tech giant is also partnering with other open-source firms to deploy the tech on the Bitcoin mainnet in the near future.

Earlier, Azure Blockchain – a new blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform – was announced to be fully developed by Microsoft. This platform will reportedly allow developers to apply the latest trends in technology.

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