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Technology and software giant, Microsoft revealed plans to integrate decentralized IDs (DIDs) based on Blockchain technology. These plans will be implemented into Microsoft’s Authenticator app. This was announced by Microsoft’s Identity Division in a blog post on February 12.

Microsoft had announced previously that they are looking to provide a new model of digital identity that would not be controlled by centralized institutions and would guarantee totally private data storage. This would enable individuals to have full control of every aspect of their digital identity.

They came to a decision for the Blockchain technology and protocols after testing out and considered from different standards for decentralized applications and identity systems. The verdict was that Blockchain technology is “well suited” for the task and has a lot of potential in supporting decentralized identities.

“Some public blockchains (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and others) provide a solid foundation for rooting DIDs, recording DPKI operations, and anchoring attestations.” – Ankur Patel


More Benefits and Features to the user base.

Microsoft are planning for the future to add DID support to their Authenticator app to improve data identity management and cryptographic keys. Microsoft’s team believes that Blockchain is the right solution for storage, maintenance and security of user’s identification information.

Blockchain proves to be a tamper-proof decentralized environment ideal for the current situation. The application was launched back in August 2016 and it is used by millions of people. Patel also said that blockchains that increase network capacity through on-chain scaling will eventually experience degraded centralization that will cripple future plans for world-scale. On-chain scaling means upping the block size. Debates about this were the main reason about the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash hard fork.

“To overcome these technical barriers, we are collaborating on decentralized layer-two protocols that run atop these public blockchains to achieve global scale, while preserving the attributes of a world class DID system.” – Ankur Patel

With that said, Microsoft admitted that scaling is the biggest obstacle for such a decentralized ID authentication environment. For the system to be perfectly safe and to be available for millions of users simultaneously, Microsoft said that they want to develop additional layers to address the scaling problem and to expand beyond it. According to Patel these second-layer protocols are necessary for blockchains to reach a truly global scale.


Decentralized future

Before a month or so, Microsoft joined the United Nation’s ID2020 project with the blockchain alliance Hyperledger. This project aims to achieve a secure and verifiable digital identification system that has big scaling potential. It was reported that Microsoft had donated 1$ million to the ID2020 project during the World Economic Forum at Davos last month.

As for now, they will test out different possibilities before adding support for them into Microsoft Authenticator. Some critics see this move as a direct action against Facebook and how the controversial ways they handle with users information.

“Rather than grant broad consent to countless apps and services, and have their identity data spread across numerous providers, individuals need a secure encrypted digital hub, where they can store their identity data and easily control access to it.”

To this day a lot of government institutions all over the world are considering or have already adopted Blockchain technology for some of its key features of security. From Canada to Dubai, institutions want to shift the control of data from government systems or corporations to the individual citizens and thus to decentralize identity management systems.

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