Microsoft just announced a plan to create a decentralized identity network. This DID network would be developed atop of the bitcoin network. The purpose would be to allow users to have the ability to control their own personal data and personal content.
The Azure Blockchain Service was part of an announcement made earlier by Microsoft. It partnered with Starbucks to develop a case use for tracking coffee production from farm to the paper cups.
Fighting Centralization of Data
Microsoft began this initiative in 2017 when the company worked with Avanade and Accenture to build a database system, which was powered by blockchain. This system would allow multiple parties to have access to data while still employing a high level of security and confidentiality.
Microsoft Azure was the prototype platform for this system. ID2020 is a group that deals with challenges of identity, including those who do not have the documents necessary to participate in various aspects of society. It can be used to help refugees and prevent statelessness.
The tech giant became a founding member of Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) and conducted research on how a digital identity can benefit those who don’t have another official identity.
This identity network can be built on the bitcoin blockchain, which works to allow users to control their own data. This network is supposed to not be susceptible to data leaks or hackers. Public blockchains are also able to track users who want to have continued access to their own data even as it stays safe.
Microsoft isn’t the only DID network initiative. Other companies, including those collaborating with the tech giant, are developing their own solutions. PayPal is one such company that is pursuing a solution.
The Microsoft DID network could become the standard if it can achieve the level of capability necessary for handling thousands of transactions per second. It could also impact social media and other platforms that keep data in a centralized platform.