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Microsoft Works On Decentralized Identity Network On Top Of Bitcoin Blockchain

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Technology giant Microsoft is working on a decentralized identity or DID network on top of the bitcoin blockchain.

In a blog post, the company announced an early preview of a Sidetree-based DID network, called Identity Overlay Network or ION. The infrastructure, atop the bitcoin blockchain, is based on an emerging set of open standards developed with partners in the Decentralized Identity Foundation.

ION is a public, permission-less, open network to create DIDs and manage their Public Key Infrastructure or PKI state. It greatly improves the throughput of DID systems to achieve tens-of-thousands of operations per second, the company said.

"While blockchains unlock the ability to create highly secure, censorship resistant identity systems, their transactional volumes are severely limited when compared to traditional systems. The most robust, decentralized, public blockchains operate at just tens of transactions per second, nowhere near the volume a world full of DIDs would demand."

Microsoft plans to work with open source contributors and members of identity community in the coming months to prepare for a public launch of the ION network on Bitcoin pmainnet.

In December last year, the company had announced its plans to work with Mastercard to improve how people manage and use their digital identity.

Microsoft recently released a new Azure Blockchain Development Kit for the Ethereum blockchain, and signed a blockchain partnership with coffee giant Starbucks.

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