The aim of Microsoft’s decentralized identity initiative is to offer control of their online identities and related data for people and companies. Microsoft is working with a blockchain startup, Tierion, on ways to use their own technology that allows users to sign data, claims, or agreements with their online identities.
Identity-signed data us often referred to as "attestations." Currently, Microsoft is collaborating with Tierion to create a service that generates, manages, and validates attestations. Microsoft provides an example of how their service might work:
"In the future, you might take an online course and receive an attestation proving you completed the required work. This attestation is digitally signed by the educational organization’s decentralized identifier and a timestamp proof that is rooted in a secure public blockchain. Anyone can verify the identities and validate this data without trusting the signers or their service providers. The blockchain serves as the root of trust. Attestations will be kept in secure datastores that are fully controlled by users. The industry sometimes calls this self-sovereign identity."
Tierion helps Microsoft by Tierion by linking data to the blockchain and creates a timestamp proof of the data. Anyone who has access to this proof will be able to independently verify the data.
Currently, Bitcoin is a public blockchain that is very secure, but slow. Bitcoin's current throughput network is only about about four transactions per second. Tierion is able to surpass this by using their ability of linking millions of data points to a single transaction.
Microsoft is working with Tierion to create a service that uses Tierion's open source Chainpoint protocol that uses blockchain as a "trust anchor." Their partnership with Tierion will move Microsoft one step closer to offering developers the best blockchain-based tools and services.
Stay tuned for more news from Microsoft for more information on decentralized identity initiative, blockchain content, collaborations, and more in the next few months.