Microsoft to Build Open-Source Blockchain-Based Identity Platform

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by Tatsiana Yablonskaya · 3 min read
Microsoft to Build Open-Source Blockchain-Based Identity Platform
Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr

Microsoft has teamed up with Blockstack Labs and ConsenSys to work on the problem of identity in the world.

Microsoft focused on the problem of identity in the modern world in its recent blog post. It stated some disturbing figures:

  • 5B people, one-fifth of the world’s population, do not have proper identification
  • The birth of one in three children has not been recorded, which means that they do not officially exist (indeed, hard to imagine in the 21st century)
  • Totally, 230M children under the age of five have no birth certificate and the number is increasing

Microsoft sees identity systems as a way to solve some physical world problems, even if these problems are complicated by complex conditions across the globe.

Microsoft has partnered with Blockstack Labs and ConsenSys as well as with separate developers across the globe for the purpose of creation of an open source, self-sovereign, blockchain-based identity system. The identity system should enable people, products, apps, and services to interoperate across blockchains, cloud providers, and organizations. “Our goal in contributing to this initiative is to start a conversation on blockchain-based identity that could improve apps, services, and more importantly, the lives of real people worldwide by enabling self-owned or self-sovereign identity”, says Microsoft.

Microsoft announced its intention to develop an identity platform for multiple blockchains at ID2020 conference in New York last week. The participants of the conference included UN members, private companies, and government agencies, who cooperated to solve the problem of identity in the world. ID2020 defined the final aim – to provide legal identity for every person without the need for identification by 2020.

Microsoft blockchain business strategist Yorke Rhodes III wrote in the blog post: “There are many questions that remain unanswered, but we can imagine a world where an individual can register their identity in a cross blockchain fashion, providing a single namespace for lookup regardless of blockchain of choice. We are excited to find out the amazing things developers and organizations will build on this open source identity framework.”

ConsenSys has developed the uPort Identity solution having integrated support for Microsoft reputation system and transactional security system. The solution can dramatically change identity creation and management for potentially 7.4 billion people on the planet. The initial version of the identity solution is expected to be available by the end of this summer.

Lead software architect of uPort Christian Lundkvist said: “I’m very excited about this collaboration, which promises to radically expand the reach and user base of self-sovereign digital identity systems. With this project we are taking a big step towards empowering people who suffer due to the lack of identity, as well as streamlining the fragmented identity systems in our modern society.”

Microsoft as a partner of R3 consortium

Not long ago, Microsoft has become also one of the members of R3 consortium. The partnership between Microsoft and R3 is expected to help move blockchain technology from hype to reality for the financial services industry. Microsoft offered R3 consortium its cloud platform, Microsoft Azure, and access to its expanding network of Blockchain-as-a-Service solution providers currently numbering in more than 45 partners. The cooperation with Microsoft provides R3’s members with intelligent technology for faster experimentation, technical agility and accelerated learning.

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