The internet has made the world a global village. Data is generated in mass on a daily basis as people connect with IoT devices. While this makes life easier, it has a significant drawback. More data available on the internet is equal to more privacy and security vulnerabilities. A survey revealed that 89% of consumers in the United States believe that big corporations can do more to protect user data. It’s true that this problem cannot be solved overnight. However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t any solution to the data management problem.
Last year, many blockchain-based platforms debuted solutions that aim at managing digital identity efficiently. These solutions revolve around self-sovereign identity. Blockchain gives the data management power back to the people rather than the corporations. This allows them to decide which data to give out and which to hold on to when they need to verify their identities online. Many companies like Bloom, Civic and Sovrin Foundation have developed self-sovereign solutions. Apart from these big brands, other public and private institutions are building blockchain-based identity management systems.
While the blockchain hype in 2017 ended with a dramatic fall in the price of cryptocurrencies in 2018, statistics have shown that it influenced the digital identity space significantly. This doesn’t mean the blockchain-based solutions are completely free of errors. There are some drawbacks but there are many benefits as well. It is also difficult to determine if these companies aim to develop a universal or siloed system.
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The fact is that blockchain technology is going to play a significant role in securing digital data in the future. However, adoption is going to take some time. These companies want to provide solutions that will fundamentally affect society and change the current system. Companies that profit from the traditional data management system will push against such a change. The CEO of Humans.net, Vlad Dobrynin had this to say about the system:
“Big corporations are manipulating data. So, they are not interested in the decentralization of information. In fact, the shadow data in the industry is worth billions of dollars. Many large organizations sell data to other organizations without consent from the user. This is why we should expect a strong level of resistance and many clever arguments against the adoption of blockchain-based identity management systems. The final decision will depend on the user and many startups who decide to turn the tide using blockchain-based digital identity management systems.”
Currently, there are many blockchain-based identity systems in isolation according to Windley. A typical example Linum Labs, a platform that is still in the development stage. Another example is a digital identity management system by Visa and IBM. Many of these platforms offer basically the same services thus creating an environment with too much competition and preventing a universal system from emerging. Users will not be propelled to use different blockchain identity systems to verify their identity on different platforms. Identity will be siloed rather than universal.
If blockchain is to positively impact the digital identity management industry, there have to be working relationships among real organizations. This would also help to prove that there is a real appetite for blockchain-based identity management systems.
Do you think blockchain companies can unite to provide a universal digital identity management system? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
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