The blockchain-based domain name service (DNS) Blockstack, formally known as Onename, has announced a partnership with the Microsoft Azure platform. Developers will work with Microsoft to provide identity solutions, authentication, and storage services without the need for third-party arbitration.
Blockstack: Self-Sovereign ID on the Blockchain
The collaboration with Microsoft will also include the startup Consensys with the goal of implementing blockchain-based identity solutions. Digital identity will enhance applications and financial services but more importantly, give global citizens the right to a self-sovereign identity. Blockstack (Blockstack.org) is said to be a more secure DNS protocol with censorship resistance due to the services decentralized network of nodes that provide domain names and identity solutions.
All of these features are built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain and currently OpenBazaar uses the Blockstack protocol to provide “human-friendly” names for stores. In its collaboration announcement with Microsoft, the startups explains their mission:
The Blockstack technology secures information using blockchains and enables an open, interoperable system that transcends borders, organizations, and companies. Microsoft will make it easy to deploy new Blockstack servers and infrastructure on the Azure cloud and plans to integrate Blockstack with some internal systems for identity and authentication. With the Blockstack technology users are in complete control of their usernames and data and don’t need to trust any third party for their information.
Microsoft’s Azure blog says the digital identity conversation really heated up during the ID2020 Summit held on May 20th. The forum at the summit noted that 1.5 billion people in the world lack basic identification; 230 million children or one out of every three kids under age five have no birth certificates. This can be a serious problem for those in the world seeking employment, getting an education, receiving medical attention, and crossing national borders to relocate, among many other issues.
The Microsoft Azure team wants to address this problem by providing digital services to anyone. Their blog states:
The ID2020 forum has provided an opportunity to bring together the technology sector with those who best understand the social and cultural challenges in question. While we don’t profess to have solutions to these overwhelming problems today, we can start where the open source community is best: collaboration.—Microsoft is collaborating with partners Blockstack Labs and ConsenSys, and developers across the globe on an open source, self-sovereign, blockchain-based identity system that allows people, products, apps, and services to interoperate across blockchains, cloud providers, and organizations.
More Than Just One Blockchain
Blockstack says the partnership will allow Microsoft engineers the opportunity to test the company’s identity and authentication services to benefit developing builds. The collaboration with Consensys will initiate the development of a “cross-blockchain solution for global namespaces.” Its commitment to the Bitcoin blockchain has widely been known even when the business was known as Onename. The company made headlines last year by dropping the Namecoin blockchain from their development toolbox. However, the startup believes that identity solutions should not be dependent on just one blockchain. The team’s developers plan to implement Consensys and Ethereum support on its server in the near future.
Blockstack says distributed ledger technology has already begun to transform the internet and global exchange. It looks forward to working with the other businesses and developers involved with this open source project. Blockstack believes these partnerships will better the web but, more importantly, it will help real people in need of identity solutions.
What do you think about Blockstack working with Microsoft and Consensys to help broaden identity solutions? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, Blockstack and Microsoft Azure
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