Microsoft Blockchain identity tool will be launched under ION with the aim to give end users greater control over their digital identities. What else do we know?
May 14, 2019, | AtoZ Markets – Blockchain, the underlying technology behind Bitcoin, has grabbed the attention of many sectors as traditional conglomerates start to experiment internally with blockchain to be at the front position of this disruptive technology. The latest wave of adoption is now emanating from American technology giant Microsoft Corporation.
Microsoft identity tool is ION
According to the latest news announced on the 13th of May, Microsoft is reportedly building an open sourced project known as Identity Overlay Network (ION) focuses on creating applications which let different networks interact with each other. This project, according to Coindesk, has been ongoing since last year.
Since it focuses on network communication and validation, it looks to improve information security within systems used by corporations such as Uber and Airbnb. It also looks to allow proof of data ownership and identity validation. For example, anytime you use a Facebook account to login into another website, there is an underlying protocol which allows for that to happen. Hence, what Microsoft is building is a new protocol to enable this to happen in a decentralized way all on top of the Bitcoin’s blockchain.
How Microsoft ION works?
The individual ION nodes on the secondary network shall be held responsible to keep the tracks of the DIDs or digital decentralized IDs and to timestamp these onto the bitcoin mainnet.
For creating a digital decentralized ID, the user will wrap a public key into the Digital Decentralized ID creation document on the ION network, sign the input using their private keys and then send it over to the node on the network. Each time that the user is going to update his Digital Decentralized ID by creating a sub ID or by updating the metadata, the corresponding node will update the changes in the Digital Decentralized ID document.
If Microsoft implements this into any of their software products then people will be using Bitcoin to verify their identities. Currently, some companies have already moved forward to showcase their interest in running the ION nodes which includes the Bitcoin security and hardware company Casa, internet security firm Cloudflare and Equinix.
A program manager at Microsoft’s blockchain-focused engineering team, also noted that the software is not only compatible with Bitcoin blockchain but also with a variety of other public chains including Ethereum.
In an interview with Coindesk, Christopher Allen, an early crypto adopter and the co-founder of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) working group for decentralized identity (DID) solution, stated:
“A lot of enterprise infrastructures use Microsoft products. So if they integrate this into any of their infrastructure products, they’ll have access to DID.”
According to sources privy to the matter, the ION network will be moving from Bitcoin’s testnet to Bitcoin mainnet before then end of 2019. This suggests that anyone anywhere can run a node and contribute to the strength and security of the network.
Vitalik Buterin excited about Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service
Last week, the tech giant announced the release of Azure Blockchain Service, a suite of tools that helps developers and companies create, deploy, and manage blockchain networks. This Development Kit for Ethereum, which is currently in public preview, is a continuation of Microsoft’s goal to provide platform-as-a-service tools for blockchain technology. This integration got Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin excited. He :
“Microsoft has embraced the open community of blockchain developers and has brought the best of their cloud development tooling to the developers building the next wave of decentralized applications. With Azure Blockchain Services and Ethereum integrations for tools like VS Code, Microsoft is demonstrating its commitment to open blockchain development.”
Furthermore, the company said on May 7 that it will promote JPMorgan Chase’s Quorum blockchain to its business customers through Azure platform.