Will Blockchain Change The Landscape Of Digital Identities?

When it was first established, Bitcoin was seen as a niche cryptocurrency. It was only discussed within the most computing and technical-oriented circles. Within the past decade, the world has witnessed bitcoin grow and transform into a marketplace that has gotten the mainstream media and press buzzing everyday about it. The rise of bitcoin inevitably resulted in a certain technology being brought to light.

By that we mean, blockchain. By eliminating the need of any middleman, blockchain solution has led to the empowerment of a direct exchange of information between A and B. What blockchain offers is a distributable ledger that is immutable in nature, with complete transparency of time-stamped records.

It is such credibility and efficiency that has drawn multiple corporations and businesses to tap on blockchain for their operations. From the cryptocurrency world, blockchain is gradually seeping into other industries and sectors, from insurance to supply chain manufacturing to finance.

The world of identity and access management (IAM) has been shaken up with the popularity of blockchain technology. Since then, there has been a plethora of attempts to harness blockchain into cyber security solutions. With blockchain-based IAM platforms and services surfacing, IT teams are starting to find that they can put an end to fraudulent activity and identity theft. Users have full autonomy over what information they wish to share and being able to verify the data which is subsequently stored and encrypted inside the ledger.

Each block along the shared blockchain network contains information that cannot be altered or deleted. With links of cryptography, one block is connected to another and exists in a decentralised database. For a criminal or hacker to cause genuine damage, they would have to delete or modify every single copy that is owned by every user participating in the shared blockchain network.

In addition, the time-stamped records will show all users who accessed and retrieved the data from a block. Every block has its own complete history which can be viewed by anyone participating in the blockchain, meaning that all transactions are made available.

Blockchains can come with a set of permissions. This means that participating parties can determine who can write new blocks into the blockchain as well as set who can record transactions. Through this mix-and-match approach, security companies can experiment with the levels of security. Some users may not be allowed to be a node. Some users may have stricter permissions and verification processes.

However, data protection regulations such as the GPDR states that personal data should not be stored on public networks. In order to work around these regulatory issues, only the users’ unique cryptographic identifiers can be referenced and stored on the blockchain.

Following this thread of thought, many companies are leveraging on a hybrid blockchain to be incorporated in the context of enterprises. Governmental bodies and commercial enterprises find great value in the implementation of a hybrid blockchain.

As blockchain security continues to evolve, the world of digital identity can possibly be revolutionised. In IAM, blockchain has much potential.