Tech giant Microsoft is reportedly developing a decentralized identity (DID) network, Identity Overlay Network (ION), atop of the Bitcoin blockchain. As per the reports, the decentralized identity network is based on protocol, known as Sidetree, which can run on any blockchains, and is designed to embark upon one of the biggest challenges that DID network face is scalability. Ahead of the announcement, the tech giant asserts that its approach addresses throughput issues that mean “the most robust, decentralized, public blockchains operate at just tens of transactions per second, nowhere near the volume a world full of DIDs would demand.”
Microsoft further says that its approach means tens of thousands of operations can be achieved per second. In their statement, the company is explaining the underlying principle behind ION that “We believe every person needs a decentralized, digital identity they own and control, backed by self-owned identifiers that enable secure, privacy-preserving interactions. This self-owned identity must seamlessly integrate into their lives and put them at the center of everything they do in the digital world.” According to Daniel Buchner, a program manager for the Microsoft Identity team said, the goal of decentralized networks is to remove the control that apps, services, and organizations have over digital identifiers such as email addresses and usernames. The company had laid out its plan to create a decentralized identity system in 2018, and now it’s looking to scale its DID network to house large volumes of transactions in identity authentication
The company is further planning to work together with open-source contributors where Identity Overlay Network can overtly introduce on the Bitcoin mainnet in the coming months. Though, ION is far-flung from Microsoft’s first blockchain initiative, which was launched earlier this month where the company introduced a new Azure Blockchain Development Kit for the Ethereum blockchain.