Microsoft is launching the first decentralized infrastructure implementation by a major tech company that is built directly on the bitcoin blockchain. This is the first of such a launch by a major company.
The biggest evidence of the progress of blockchain in the modern world is the fact that so many powerful corporations are embracing it and developing their own products that are blockchain-based. First, it was JPMorgan and then Facebook and now Microsoft seems to be getting in on the action. As mentioned, they will be launching the first decentralized infrastructure implementation from the Bitcoin blockchain by a major company.
The open source project, called Ion, deals with the underlying mechanics of how networks talk to each other. It shall deal with the technology through which networks communicate and share information. Ion handles the decentralized identifiers, which control the ability to prove you own the keys to data. Furthermore, a source stated that Ion will shift from using bitcoin’s testnet to the bitcoin mainnet later this year. Which means our contributions will be welcomed and allowed by anyone who can run in node.
Christopher Allen, a crypto veteran and the co-founder of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) working group for decentralized identity (DID) solutions stated that Microsoft’s move could impact the entire tech industry. “A lot of enterprise infrastructures use Microsoft products,” Allen said. “So if they integrate this into any of their infrastructure products, they’ll have access to DID.”
Microsoft’s team has been working for a year on this key signing and validation software that relies on public networks, like bitcoin or ethereum, yet can handle far greater throughput than the underlying blockchain itself.
Yorke Rhodes, Program manager, Microsoft blockchain engineering team said, “There are systems that we have at Microsoft, that give you permissions in an enterprise context, a product called Active Directory, that we think need to be able to recognize these DIDs as well.” He added that such infrastructure products and services related to Azure are among the Microsoft’s most popular offerings. This tiny piece in a giant machine, and could have far-reaching impacts.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s, Allen said, “To have Microsoft say they are not scared of bitcoin, and in fact, it has some very good properties and we are willing to take advantage of those properties, is, I think, a step in the right direction.”
Stepping back, the difference between a DID under the hood, versus current infrastructure, speaks to the heart of users owning their own content and access. Yet Facebook, in particular, may not align with Microsoft’s approach. This sort of projects speak to users to access to their own data and handling of this by large firms which is currently a hot-button issue in both the tech and consumer world.
Another anonymous source stated that, although Facebook has been invited to participate in Microsoft’s DID projects and community efforts, so far the social media company has declined and instead continued to follow its historic approach to user data. “They’re going in a different direction that’s not as decentralized,” the source said of Facebook.
Overall, there is an extensive potential market for this project by Microsoft and once fully launched, there seem to be very few limits as to how much can be done with it whiles also benefiting the consumer’s at the same time.