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Microsoft unveils decentralized identity protocol that works atop the Bitcoin blockchain

Microsoft launched a brand new open-source protocol Monday that is designed to hurdle efficiency points when attempting to make use of blockchain networks to confirm identity at scale.

ION, or Establish Overlay Community, is predicated on an earlier blockchain undertaking constructed by Microsoft and several other companions referred to as Sidetree. ION runs on the Bitcoin blockchain and makes it doable to confirm a a lot larger variety of identity verification requests than present blockchain programs — valued for his or her decentralized nature — can deal with utilizing present know-how, Microsoft’s Daniel Buchner, senior program supervisor for Microsoft Identity Division, said in a blog post.

Ever since the meteoric rise of Bitcoin put the blockchain on the map, tech corporations have been searching for methods to make use of the unique decentralized network structure it employs for functions aside from wild foreign money hypothesis. The blockchain permits two events to securely and immediately trade knowledge utilizing cryptographic protocols to confirm their identities, quite than counting on a central clearing home to do that verification work.

Nonetheless, this course of is fairly gradual in comparison with trendy programs — like Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory — that corporations use to confirm the identity of staff signing onto their company networks, for instance.

“Whereas blockchains unlock the potential to create extremely safe, censorship resistant identity programs, their transactional volumes are severely restricted when in comparison with conventional programs,” Buchner wrote in the publish.

ION was designed to hurry up that course of with out dropping any of the decentralized options of the blockchain. It permits anybody to create decentralized identifiers (DIDs) that they personal, handle, and management as a part of a identity administration system.

CoinDesk, which tracks this world much more carefully than we do, mentioned that is the first time any main tech firm has constructed one thing like this over the Bitcoin blockchain. In response to its evaluation, ION may have main ripple results throughout the enterprise tech panorama if it will get built-in into Microsoft cloud providers by way of Azure as an identity-management normal.

Microsoft was cautious to emphasise that ION was an “early preview” launched “tough edges and all,” so it’s going to possible take a while earlier than corporations are keen to guess on this know-how. Builders thinking about kicking the tires or contributing to the ION undertaking can find more information here.

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