In a new release, tech giant Microsoft has announced it will be collaborating with blockchain technology startup Tierion in its decentralized identity initiative. The two companies will be working on a service that aims to link data to the blockchain in order to prove its integrity and existence.
Microsoft and Tierion will be working together on a service that manages and validates attestations – bits of identity-signed data that let users sign claims or agreements with their own identities. The companies are exploring how this type of technology will fit into the needs of developers and organizations.
The goal of Microsoft’s initiative is to provide people and organizations control over their identity and released data, the post reads. The role of Tierion in this initiative will focus on linking data to the blockchain, and in generating a timestamp that proves that data’s integrity and existence.
The release adds an example: for completing an online course, students may one day receive validation digitally signed with the educational institution’s decentralized identifier, and a timestamp proof backed-up by secure a public blockchain. This way, reads the release, anyone can verify the authenticity of the data, without having to rely on a trusted authority. Essentially, the blockchain serves as the root of trust.
Bitcoin’s blockchain is mentioned as being exceptionally secure, but slow. Since the bitcoin network has a throughput of only about four transactions per second, Tierion is also needed to solve the scalability problem. The blockchain startup will do this by cryptographically linking millions of data points to a single transaction. The two companies’ new service will also leverage the Chainpoint Protocol for using the blockchain as a trust anchor.
The announcement ends with a paragraph that points to Microsoft’s commitment to blockchain technology:
The collaboration between Microsoft and Tierion is another important step in bringing the best blockchain-based tools and services to developers. As we move forward with our decentralized identity initiative, look for more content, collaborations, and announcements in the coming months
Tierion was the first blockchain startup to complete a project on healthcare. This allowed it to, in 2015, become the first partner in Philips Blockchain Lab. Since then, the company has been working with some of the world’s largest healthcare and insurance companies.
According to the company, most blockchain technology isn’t ready to be deployed on a larger scale, due to technical and regulatory challenges. Back in October 2016, the company published a report on the opportunities and risks of blockchain technology in healthcare.
Commenting on the collaboration with Microsoft, Wayne Vaughan, Tierion’s CEO, stated:
Working with Microsoft helps us further our goal of building a global proof engine. For many use cases it’s better to link your existing systems to the blockchain instead of building your own blockchain. We were thrilled when Microsoft approached us about working together.
Images from Shutterstock.