Privacy, trust in unknown person, killing the middleman, no governance – this is all we heard about the new technology. But how can we act creating trustless society if this technology is not tamper proof resistance.
Decentralized ID will become the next gen topic for DLT systems and of course the only existing blockchain providing privacy by nature: Bitcoin.
Microsoft has launched after 4 year development under the hood the long awaited decentralized ID network called ION.
ION – We Have Liftoff!
Four years ago, we started a journey to help develop and advance decentralized identity, an emerging form of identity technology that empowers individuals and creates new business capabilities. Our goal is to put individuals, organizations, and other entities at the center of the apps, services, and digital exchanges that increasingly play a pivotal role in our lives. Among all the technical development required to deliver decentralized identity, none is more important than Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs).
ION does not rely on centralized entities, trusted validators, or special protocol tokens – ION answers to no one but you, the community. Because ION is an open, permissionless system, anyone can run an ION node, in fact the more nodes in operation, the stronger the network becomes. Development of ION, and the Sidetree standard ION is based on, takes place in the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF)
ION natively runs on the bitcoin main network now. This provides the highest security signing nodes transactions of credentials to a trustful chain report in the ledger.
How does DID work?
Say you got for instance a credit card and you will work along with them. So anyone where you have successfully paid is a witness you are real person. Another example every time you show up at the doctor side you proofed your personality. Or by showing your student pass. In simple words there are a lot of witness for you – your standard bakery clerk who can give proof of you. Your repair service for your car. Imagine during your life time from birth to now you have proven your identity thousands of time. So this list we can track now. Whenever you made a proof this will be stored in the ledger of Bitcoin or other ledger from different DID provider. Since DLT are immutable and Bitcoin is the securest of all, your story of transactions recorded will lead securely into your history and no one can do identity theft.
For example you have to proof who you are without giving away your credentials like passport etc. the system which is connected to the DLT or blockchain will ask you a question. This could be from a time period 3 weeks ago. Means a question is coming up asking you which doctor you visited on March 2, 2021. Or which bakery you have been in yesterday or what was your last stop? All these things only you can answer. The correct answer will be checked with the transaction time stamp and the record will be checked with the transaction number printer on the proof. This is one way how to solve the problem. Then the interface will confirm you are the person you pretend to be.
Best of all is you are holding the credentials of your own because only you can give access and the right to show your identity. The moment you do it is possible to have a smart contract for compliance. So you will get a message that you have to clear the case otherwise after two weeks the system will send your credentials to the guy having problems with you in business.
DID can be used also instead of logging in to Facebook with your email or apple id. The system will just check if you are a real person. No one can steal your passwords etc. anymore.
We expect a billion dollar market for Decentralized ID Management in the next years. Companies like Earth.ID or Microsoft will have a bright future. Privacy is more needed today than before. In a society where regulation getting more power over your personality it is a good step in the right direction.
Written by : Prof. (Dr.) h. c. Joerg Molt