We’ve heard a lot about blockchain technology in recent times. Blockchain is a critical part of the bitcoin peer-to-peer payment system and its ledger has helped improve transparency for transactions. But what else can this technology do?
There have been a lot of predictions as to the next great use of blockchain tech. Some have even said that blockchain could be the solution to gun control in the United States. So what else could the blockchain be used for? We went straight to the experts to find out.
“The most promising application of blockchain that is currently in development is digital identity. In the past few years, we have seen a crisis of privacy and trust in the digital and online environment, with events such as the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, Equifax breach, and foreign interference via social media in the 2016 presidential election. Legislation like the EU’s GDPR demonstrate the people want more control and ownership over their personal data and digital identities.
Much like blockchain allowed for the first decentralized, user-owned digital money, the technology will also allow for the first self-sovereign digital identities. The term “self-sovereign identity” has been coined to describe the ability for a blockchain-based identity system to give users ownership over their digital selves and personal data. Existing models of digital identity rely on centralized authorities, like Google or Facebook, that manage identities on behalf of their users and can therefore take unilateral action, like locking someone out of their account. If you use Google to login to applications and websites, a simple mistake or intentional censorship by Google can suddenly leave you deprived of the identity you use online.