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Microsoft Launches Decentralized Identity System ION

Microsoft has recently launched the preview version of its blockchain-based decentralized Identity system ION. The new Decentralized Identifier works on top of the Bitcoin network which aims to provide decentralized identity network and PKI at scale.

Digital identity has become an integral part of the internet where each and every service provider requires a user to provide some form of identity. Thus creating a decentralized system which not only ensures privacy but safety as well has become the need of the hour.

Alex Simons, Microsoft’s Vice President writes.

“Today, the most common digital identifiers we use are email addresses and usernames, provided to us by apps, services, and organizations. This puts identity providers in a place of control, between us and every digital interaction in our lives.”

How ION Aims to Change the Identity System on the Internet?

ION aims to change the identity system by creating an ecosystem where a large number of organizations and individuals can operate securely without any fear of identity theft. The ION decentralized identity system ensures privacy as no single firm or organization has the authority to decide who can be part of the ecosystem.

ION makes use of Sidetree protocol, which is backed by the Digital Identity Foundation which is a consortium of more than 60 members, including Microsoft, IBM, NEC, and others. ION picks up from the previously built efforts on the same concept, but the main attraction for the Microsft backed ION system is its capacity to achieve tens-of-thousands of operations per second.

Although the ION system works on top of the Bitcoin network, it is neither meant to be exchanged or traded. The sidetree protocol was implemented in such a way that it can operate and scale without the need of any second layer.

“All nodes of the network are able to arrive at the same Decentralized Public Key Infrastructure (DPKI) state for an identifier based solely on applying deterministic protocol rules to chronologically ordered batches of operations anchored on the blockchain, which ION nodes replicate and store via IPFS.”