How Blockchain Solves the Problem of Digital Identity
As time goes on, the common saying that "everyone is online now" becomes more accurate. Millions of individuals go online daily for various reasons, including conducting research, making purchases, interacting with friends and family, sharing opinions, and making or receiving financial transactions. A person's digital footprint will increase proportionally with the number of online transactions.
During our weekly Twitter space at EkoLance, we hosted Simon Molitor, the founder of digitalsocial.id, a blockchain firm with the mission to build trust through a non-transferable reputation for digital entities in the next era of the world wide web. Due to his wealth of knowledge, we invited him to extensively discuss the topic 'digital identities,' its current challenges, the solutions available, and what the future looks like.
What is Digital Identity?
Our first discussion with Simon Molitor was to explain digital identity in its simplest form. Here, Simon said that “Digital identity is simply a proof of humanity”. He believes that in order for humans to establish a secure niche amongst the machines on the internet, some form of identification is required. He also said that your digital identity may serve as your passport, but that it is much more than that since digital identity encompasses more of what it is to be human.
What Foundational Identity Already Exists?
Simon Molitor explained that every sector in the web 2.0 world needs our digital identity, from financial services to fintech and the healthcare sector and others. He went further to say that the simplest one we all are familiar with is our social profiles; although they are superficial, they don't have other use cases aside from letting other people know who we are.
The Problems of Digital Identity In the Past Years
“Giving away sensitive information such as your financial and health data makes you transparent, and this introduces two problems — ownership and control” – Simon Molitor, Founder of Digitalsocialid
Simon Molitor explained that in the web2 world, you lose ownership and control whenever you give out your data online. This is an already existing challenge as you have no idea about the people who get to see this sensitive data.
How is the Blockchain Transforming Digital Identity?
Simon Molitor shared that the international association for trusted blockchain applications and other prominent associations are investigating blockchain use cases. For him, this proves that there is a use case of blockchain in identity, and that's what they are doing at digitalsocial.id.
“When it comes to blockchain use cases for identity, there are two buzzwords — self-sovereign identity (SSI) and decentralized identity.”
What is Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI)?
Self-sovereign identity is a method of digital identity that puts users in charge of the data they share with various online services and applications.
According to Simon, it helps you to log in to any application and authenticate yourself without being controlled by any centralized body. You can access many platforms, and more importantly, no one can delete your identity because it is in your control.
What is Decentralized Identity?
A decentralized identity model allows individuals and organizations to interact with greater transparency and safety in an identity-trusted network. People's digital identities and other associated credentials are controlled and managed by them.
Simon Molitor wrapped up the session by explaining what decentralized identity is. He said that it decentralizes ownership to different stakeholders, which helps the whole space to be more secure and less prone to attacks. He added that there is a whole use case around decentralization in general.
The Future of Digital Identity
Blockchain technology has great potential as a foundation for a better identity management system. In addition to preventing identity theft, the technology will provide consumers control over what information is shared across various transaction channels. Keeping a digital copy up to date will be simplified and facilitated. However, blockchain technology is not magical, and no extraordinary feature verifies every transaction recorded therein as accurate. In the end, it will be up to the people to input accurate details about themselves, and the organizations with the authority and resources to vet and establish the legitimacy of the information stored there will also play their part.
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