The recognition of the need for a user controlled identity management process is now being codified in various legislation particularly in the EU (e.g. GDPR and PSD2). This recognition is borne out by efforts such as the FIDO U2F and a body of work developed over the last 10-20 years culminating in the concept of the ‘self-sovereign’. The future is now being envisioned as a user centered experience whereby data and ownership remains with the user, and they have the ability to magically move their private information between information service providers at will.

Conversely the internet behemoths of today do not support this utopia - and it is not yet clear how users can isolate their independence and self-sovereignty from some 3rd party internet giants or government institutions. Blockchain theory and current implementations show how a world of distributed data management based on consent algorithms might pave the way to the user utopia with immutable records that can be shared securely yet completely assured and verified by the user independently of the service providers they interact with. This body of work explores the interrelated concepts of trust, completeness, availability, audit trail and anonymity.

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Ping: distributed ledgers are the future of identity security

Ping Identity earlier this summer struck a partnership with a startup called Swirlds, investing an undisclosed amount of money in the company. Swirlds, founded by CEO Leemon Baird, introduced what it calls hashgraph, which is similar to the distributed ledger featured in bitcoin’s blockchain scheme, with one important difference: instead of recording one transaction after another in a chain, the hashgraph algorithm weaves multiple transactions together at the same time in a graph.

Applying blockchain to identity

In my final deep dive into blockchain use cases, I come to digital identity. Now this is a thorny area for three reasons.

What is the impact of blockchains on privacy?

Data stored in blockchains cannot be changed, which means that personal data they contain cannot be removed. Jeni Tennison, the ODI’s Technical Director, explains why it’s really important that we design blockchains to protect people’s privacy.

Blythe masters tells banks the blockchain changes everything

The penthouse meeting room in Le Parker Meridien hotel in midtown Manhattan is humming with chatter on this June afternoon. About a hundred money managers are networking at the end of the day at a Sandler O’Neill & Partners investor conference as the green rectangle of Central Park stretches into the distance 42 floors below.

The impact of the blockchain goes beyond financial services

The technology most likely to change the next decade of business is not the social web, big data, the cloud, robotics, or even artificial intelligence. It’s the blockchain, the technology behind digital currencies like Bitcoin.

2017 blockchain predictions

Herein lies 17 decentralized technology predictions for 2017. Thank you to all of my colleagues for my continued education this year and feedback in writing this piece. Please take these predictions with a grain of holiday salt, in other words, not meant to be construed as professional advice.

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