IS BLOCKCHAIN THE MISSING ‘DIGITAL IDENTITY’ LINK?

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from TRU News:

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the concept of a “universal digital identity” has been goal for the global elite for more than two years, but it seems technology is now finally catching up with their dream.

Everyone already has a digital identity—usually based on one’s email address(es), identification number, or mobile phone number—but beyond that, there’s little there to distinguish one person from another in the physical world. For security purposes, banks and governments need more information to confirm a person’s physical identity matches his or her digital identity.

That is the goal of UDI, which would effectively make birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and passports obsolete. Bank cards would also likely disappear, replaced with other means of “know your customer” authentication.

Singapore and India have toyed with this concept, and China and Russia are preparing to collct biometric data, as well. But in Western countries, where privacy concerns are still a priority, thre had been little movement until the advent of blockchain.

The fintech firm KYC Chain is now developing a process by which financial institutions can maintain high customer identification standards with the data protection afforded by blockchain distributed-ledger technology. This is the same technology that makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies secure.

Other fintech startups are looking at ways digital identities like those created by KYC Chain’s technology, could be shared across various platforms. American Banker reports:

“Gem, a startup in Venice, Calif., is focused on getting companies within the same industry to share information via blockchain technology.

The firm is working on creating a blockchain that would connect other blockchains, both private ones being tested by banks and public ones like the bitcoin blockchain. One function of this project could be used for identity, where a consumer could upload their personal details (in encrypted form) once, whether with a bank, passport office, or telecom provider and the identity could then be used in any other context.”

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