Microsoft has released a beta version of its identity verification tool on the Bitcoin blockchain. The project is called ION and was first announced in May 2019. The purpose of ION is to become a tool for DID, DID stands for decentralized identity.
In short, DID eliminates the need for people to use the customary identification tools commonly used on the Internet, which use email or social network accounts.
These “traditional” identification systems are based on sharing data with large entities (especially cyber giants).
DID leave the data in the hands of users. Their identity is verified by a set of encryption keys. Microsoft’s goal is to develop a large-scale infrastructure to eliminate the need for centralized entities.
What is ION?
ION is a so-called “Layer 2” network, which is open and unlicensed. Based on the open-source foundation, you can view and modify it, and contribute to it.
As explained on the Microsoft Community Blog, it has evolved from the beginning into a decentralized network that can operate without centralized components or proven intermediaries.
It does not have utility tokens, verification nodes, or other consensus mechanisms because the only consensus it will have is to upload to the Bitcoin blockchain.
The project’s developer Daniel Buchner explained some technical details and the process of creating his own digital identity on the blog.
It should be emphasized that only the user can modify the entered data. There is currently no release date for the final version. The goal is set in autumn, but all this remains to be seen.
The beta version of ION will be used to test the operation and adoption between early adopters and various contributors who will be able to leave feedback, thereby helping to improve the project.
Besides, Microsoft will test possible use cases, organize hackathons and events to bring communities interested in sharing ideas, and move on. The project is ambitious because, as the developer himself explained: “Everyone has the right to own and control their digital identity.”
It turns out that Microsoft is very interested in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world. Patent applications for projects that allow mining of cryptocurrencies through human activities have attracted a lot of attention. As for decentralized digital identities, the patent also aims to change established systems, such as mining.