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”Own and Control Your Identity” With Microsoft’s New Blockchain-Powered ID Products

Digital identity

Microsoft isn’t exactly foreign to the blockchain. The powerhouse software development company is poised to benefit massively from decentralized technology, and their involvement in the Stratis (STRAT) framework is common knowledge as well.

Decentralized Identity Management

Now, Microsoft is looking to turn blockchain ID products into a new business, according to a new white paper published this week. Reported by Coindesk, the document states that the Windows developers are planning for two products that put control of user data back in their hands.

One project is the “identity hub,” or an encrypted data storage that utilizes technology both from the user’s device and Microsoft’s Azure cloud service. Here, anyone can store their data, but third-parties can only access it via permission-based criteria. This would be a welcome change from the norm, in which users’ data is often taken without their knowledge.

The other project, a “wallet-like app,” would work in tandem with the technology mentioned above. Ideally, users could store their permissions in the wallet and efficiently manage them—even revoking authorization should they so choose.

Most interesting is the underlying blockchain technology behind these two applications. Both innovations are working to expand on Decentralized Identifiers Technology (DIDs) established by the World Wide Web Foundation (W3C.)

DIDs are attractive for the same reasons traditional blockchains are: their ability to remove a central authority from power. Here, identities are “registered” on a blockchain or some other decentralized network. This way, nothing can be done with the identification without the consent of the user in power.

The plan is to implement this technology as a sort of “second layer” on top of a traditional blockchain, not unlike Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. According to the paper, the design will be “for world-scale use,” with the goal of establishing a “unified, interoperable ecosystem that developers and businesses can rely on to build a new wave of products, applications, and services.”

There isn’t a predicted time-frame for release, but it’s a positive sign for the industry when big-tech like Microsoft is investing in blockchains and identity.

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