Microsoft Collaborates with Blockchain Firms on ID Verification Platform

Microsoft has announced a blockchain identity initiative in collaboration with Blockstack Labs and ConsenSys, a New York-based blockchain developer studio that specializes in Ethereum-based apps.

According to Yorke Rhodes, who joined the Azure BaaS platform at the beginning of this month, Microsoft is looking to develop a cross-chain identity framework that can seamlessly integrate with a variety of cloud and blockchain-based systems, “We are working with Blockstack Labs and ConsenSys to leverage their current Bitcoin and Ethereum-based identity solutions, Blockstack and uPort.” writes Rhodes.

The Blockstack blog also states that Blockstack Labs is working with ConsenSys to develop identity solutions on the blockchains of Bitcoin and Ethereum:

“We believe that a global identity system should not be dependent on any particular blockchain and users should be able to migrate from one blockchain to another, if needed.”

Microsoft will be launching an early version of the open source framework on its Azure cloud platform and developers will be allowed to experiment by building a variety of identity apps. The initiative was publicly announced at the ID2020 Summit last week, which is part of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals program that aims to provide legal identities and birth certificates to the world’s 1.5 billion undocumented inhabitants by 2030.

While the goals of the UN agenda are very lofty, the cultural and technological implications of such an undertaking are not be underestimated. The software giant is hopeful that the open source community can leverage blockchain technology to engineer a viable solution.

Yorke Rhodes explains in his blog post:

“There are many questions that remain unanswered, but we can imagine a world where an individual can register their identity in a cross blockchain fashion, providing a single namespace for lookup regardless of blockchain of choice.”

The applications of blockchain technology in identity verification is also being explored by other firms like Palo Alto-based ShoCard, which is using the technology to create ID solutions for the airline industry.


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