Microsoft has released details of its new blockchain products. These are two products designed to give consumers greater control of their personal data.
Microsoft New Blockchain Products
The white paper of the project states the details of two products, though full details were not made known. One of the two products is an encryption personal data store or an identity hub. This product is a combination of users personal devices and cloud storage that Microsoft offers through its Azure platform, its computing service.
Microsoft has revealed only little details about the product, but the purpose of the product is to enable consumers to store identity information in the hub, and there will be a need for their permissions before any third-party could access the data. This is a change from the conventional template where many third-parties hold the details of consumers without their consent.
The second product to be built is a wallet like app that will aid managing permissions to data inclusive of ability to revoke access when it is so desired.
Notably, the two products would be built on the foundation of the decentralized identifiers (DIDs), a specification developed under the auspices of the World Wide Web Foundation (W3C).
DIDs is regarded as a breakthrough in the ID community, as it does not require a central authority because they are registered on the distributed ledger. This offers a different approach to phones, and Twitter handles. DID gives users control over their data.
The white paper also reveals that Microsoft is developing an open source implementation of DIDs that would work as a second layer on top of multiple blockchains. This will be in the similar fashion of bitcoin’s Lightning Network that aids high volume of cryptocurrency payments. The tier two for identity is being “designed for world-scale use,” according to the paper.
Notably, the timetable of the project is not stated, but the goal is targeted at establishing a unified, interoperable ecosystem that developers and businesses can rely on to build a new wave of products, applications, and services.
Microsoft Venture Into DIF and Transparency Issue
The reason for Microsoft’s venture into DIF is guided by the company’s effort to make sure that the system being built today does not end up becoming a type of island that present social media had turned into. The present template does not offer linking identities from LinkedIn to Twitter, to Facebook, to WeChat among others.
Meanwhile, some members of the ID community believes that the Microsoft project should be more transparent. Wayne Vaughan, CEO of blockchain data platform, Tierion and a member of the DIF steering committee, noted that “Microsoft has been soliciting input from the community, but their software development has largely been done behind closed doors, and now they are releasing it publicly. With that being said — it’s much better than nothing.”