Microsoft Launches ION Decentralized Identity Network On Bitcoin

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Microsoft Launches ION Decentralized Identity Network On Bitcoin

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A radical new framework for the right way to authenticate on-line identities simply went dwell on the Bitcoin community.

Microsoft’s Decentralized Identification workforce has launched the ION Decentralized Identifier (DID) community on the Bitcoin mainnet. This community is a layer 2 know-how much like Lightning besides that as a substitute of specializing in funds it makes use of Bitcoin’s blockchain to create digital IDs for authenticating identification on-line.

An ID community like ION might be the important thing to unlocking an online the place customers not need to fumble with passwords, emails and cell telephones for verification.

“We’re excited to share that [version 1] of ION is full and has been launched on Bitcoin mainnet. We now have deployed an ION node to our manufacturing infrastructure and are working along with different firms and organizations to take action as properly. ION doesn’t depend on centralized entities, trusted validators or particular protocol tokens. ION solutions to nobody however you, the group,” Microsoft’s Daniel Bucnher writes in a weblog put up. 

What’s Microsoft’s ION?

As famous by Buchner, ION is open supply, so anybody can obtain the code and run an ION node to make use of the service. It makes use of Sidetree, an open-source protocol for decentralized identifiers constructed by devs from Microsoft, ConsenSys, Mattr and Transmute. 

Open to the general public after being in closed beta since June 2020, ION makes use of the identical logic as Bitcoin’s transaction layers to log out on identification. A public key and its related personal key are used to confirm {that a} person owns an ID.

For instance, to log into your e-mail or social media in a world that makes use of ION, you’d confirm you personal your account by “signing” your DID along with your ION account. Due to the cryptographic hyperlinks that ION creates to Bitcoin, the ION community would confirm for the service supplier that you just personal the ID related along with your account. 

Any private knowledge (title, age, and so forth) tied to that ID is saved off-chain, relying on the service. ION’s IDs are anchored to Bitcoin’s blockchain utilizing the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) protocol, and ION nodes can course of as much as 10,000 ID requests in a single transaction.

Customers can create and handle a number of IDs with completely different keys for various providers. A few of these could also be used recurrently to log into providers that customers entry day by day together with e-mail and social media, or might be utilized in one-off methods reminiscent of verifying live performance or occasion tickets. 

Anybody fascinated with working ION can accomplish that via a distant node or by downloading it straight on a local machine.

Microsoft has developed an utility programming interface (API) for builders who wish to work together with the service with out downloading a node or pockets. The corporate has additionally constructed an explorer for wanting up DIDs created on the community.

With model 1 launched, the workforce will deal with releasing a “gentle consumer” for bootstrapping nodes quicker and streamlining ID decision by authorizing an ID whereas its associated transaction remains to be in Bitcoin’s mempool. 

Are decentralized IDs the long run?

Microsoft’s ION has attracted contributions from Bitcoin and crypto mainstays together with Casa, ConsenSys, Gemini, BitPay and Protocol Labs, in addition to a hand from the groups at Cloudflare, Spruce and others. 

ION has additionally labored with the Transmute and SecureKey groups who’re constructing their very own DID networks.

Decentralized Identification is an effective instance of a non-monetary use case for public blockchains like Bitcoin, and it’s even on the radar of the World Financial Discussion board’s blockchain chief. The World Vast Internet Consortium (W3C), a physique for internet requirements based in 1994), is at present evaluating DIDs as a candidate suggestion, which means the discussion board is contemplating recognizing these identification frameworks as a global commonplace.

Blockchain Commons head and crypto veteran Christopher Allen informed CoinDesk in 2019 that Microsoft embracing Bitcoin’s properties for DIDs is “a step in the fitting path.”

“You might have a service that’s within the cloud hosted by Microsoft Azure, however is completely safe as a result of all the things in it’s encrypted along with your keys that you just management and all the things that run beneath your authority, regardless that it’s within the cloud,” Allen mentioned.

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