Daniel Buchner from the Microsoft Azure Identity team will be leading a project called decentralized identity initiative which features extensive collaboration with Tierion and its developers. Cooperatively, the Microsoft and Tierion development teams are looking to build a Blockchain-based platform wherein anyone can sign data, claims and agreements in an immutable and transparent ecosystem.
Ultimately, Microsoft hopes to commercialize a secure Blockchain platform which can be utilized by a wide range of users to secure data in an unalterable ledger.
One key attribute of the Blockchain network that Microsoft is actively examining is non-repudiation. By embedding specific timestamps within an immutable ecosystem, individuals or organizations using the Blockchain platform will be able to relate certain data sets to specific timestamps.
Through the usage of cryptographic proofs and the underlying infrastructure developed and introduced by Tierion, Microsoft hopes to launch a system applicable to complex operations handled in various industries such as finance and healthcare.
The Microsoft Azure Identity team stated:
“Non-repudiation is important to regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare and insurance. These organizations need to prove there hasn’t been collusion to backdate or modify data. Tierion links data to the Blockchain and generates a timestamp proof of the data’s integrity and existence. Anyone with this proof can independently verify the data without relying on a trusted authority.”
Utilizing the Bitcoin Blockchain
Bitcoin is not the most flexible or efficient Blockchain network. Alternative protocols like Ethereum are capable of processing more transactions or settlements at a faster rate. However, Blockchain networks that focus on flexibility and functionality can often compromise security, as seen in the recent series of hard forks executed by Ethereum.
Microsoft is working with Tierion, a blockchain startup, that uses the public Bitcoin blockchain as well as its private blockchain platform to integrate millions of data points into the Bitcoin blockchain with increased speeds and efficiency. As the company explains, “Tierion generates a blockchain receipt for each record, which provides irrefutable proof that your data was recorded in the Bitcoin blockchain. Anyone with this receipt can verify the timestamp and contents of the record.”
In the past, open-source software like Ethereum had trouble dealing with security issues and internal bugs, despite technical contributions being submitted by experienced developers and cryptographers across the world. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft and Tierion will be able to deal with such issues by using the Bitcoin blockchain that is known for its tight securtiy measures.
The Microsoft Azure Identity team added:
“Public Blockchains such as Bitcoin are exceptionally secure but slow. The current throughput of the Bitcoin network is about four transactions per second. Tierion solves this scalability problem by cryptographically linking millions of data points to a single transaction. We’re working with Tierion on a service that leverages the open source Chainpoint protocol their team developed for using the Blockchain as a trust anchor.”