Decentralized Identity is a new approach to identity using the blockchain and other technologies that give people back control of their identity.
It’s a way to own your identity and control its use. It's also a new way to manage your personal information by giving you access to it at all times while still enforcing privacy laws in place today.
Identity is an important part of who we are. It’s the way we identify ourselves to others, and it’s also how others identify us. We use it for everything from opening bank accounts to applying for jobs, but the process can be time-consuming and tedious.
What is Decentralized Identity?
A decentralized identity is a form of authentication that replaces the traditional username and password with a cryptographic key. This cryptographic key can prove your identity in any application, such as banking and ecommerce sites. The blockchain technology used for decentralized identity provides an immutable record of your digital life that cannot be hacked or manipulated by anyone else. It also keeps track of who owns what data, making it easier for you to control how much information you share with third parties.
What are the benefits of a decentralized system?
- Decentralized systems are more secure.
- Decentralized systems are more private.
- Decentralized systems are more flexible.
- Decentralized systems are more transparent.
- Decentralized systems can be made more efficient through smart contracts and crypto-economic incentives (e.g., reputation scoring).
Decentralization of identity has the potential to solve many problems related to identity management, including:
How does it work?
- A central authority controls centralized systems.
- Many players control decentralized systems, but no single player has control over them.
- The blockchain is an open-source ledger that records transactions across a peer-to-peer network of computers in real-time. It can be used to store and transfer value securely between two parties without requiring a third party like an exchange or bank account, which is why it’s used as the basis for decentralized identity management systems like Civic or uPort (more on those later).
Why is this important now?
The current system is broken. We need a new system that goes beyond what we have now, and this new technology can help us do it. We can't wait for an official government body to fix the problem. We need to take matters into our own hands, so we're going to start by defining decentralized identity as:
- A way for individuals and organizations to prove who they are (and what they've done) online without having their personal information shared with third parties or stored in centralized databases.
- A foundation for creating new decentralized applications that don't rely on centralized control points like Facebook or Google surgeries
Decentralized identities are the future of identity management. Decentralized systems allow you to own your identity and control it in a way that wasn’t possible before, with no middleman between you and your data. Decentralized Identity is becoming increasingly important as more people begin asking questions about how they can take charge of their digital identity while improving security and privacy through blockchain technology.