Potential Roles for BLOCKCHAIN in Identity

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Potential Roles for Blockchain in Identity

Tuesday 5G

Convener: Jeff Stollman

Notes-taker(s): Jeff Stollman

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered:

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action it' ems, next steps:ems, next steps:


The purpose of the session was to explore the ways that blockchain technology could be applied to identity.   I wanted to determine if the many useful features of blockchain (distributed source of truth, non-repudiatable transaction log) bring value to our struggles to solve the various challenges of identity.  I was fearful that in our excitement about blockchain and its capabilities we were acting like blockchain hammers looking for nails.

As we discovered there are a couple of solutions being developed that do leverage blockchain technology for identity purposes.  We identified three such applications:

  1. Shocard
  2. World Citizen Passport
  3. OneName

ShoCard is an identity platform seeking to support Relying Parties in verifying the identity of a user.  "The ShoCard Identity Platform is built on a public blockchain data layer, so as a company we’re not storing any data or keys that could be compromised. All identity data is encrypted and hashed then stored in the blockchain, where it can’t be tampered with."

"ShoCard’s game-changing pricing means almost no marginal cost to our customers for verifying identity. Banks and others can check identity on every transaction, virtually eliminating fraud."

The develop or World Citizen Passport created an open source solution that he hopes governments will take up for issuance of IDs.  He doesn't appear to be interested in marketing his solution.

World Citizen Passport is a provider of a low assurance identity one's identity that currently uses social network references to attest to a person's existence.  Of course, with additional vetting, the same approach could be used to capture higher levels of assurance identities.

OneName is being developed by Ryan Shea who was in the session, so we spent most of the session drilling down on the particulars of his solution.

OneName allows you to choose a unique name, register it and build up a portfolio of both self-asserted and attested claims that the system can use to login and/or qualify for various services.

The name you register serves to allow others can find your blockchain ID. If you keep your password safe, no one can take this name from you.

You can link your blockchain ID and social media profiles together to prove ownership of your blockchain ID and verify it's really you.

It also allows you to share your blockchain ID on your website, social media profiles, and business cards so people can easily find you online, and link your public key to your blockchain ID to receive encrypted messages

It allows you to easily authenticate the digital signatures of other blockchain ID users and to log in to apps and websites without a password (coming soon).