Microsoft is launching the first decentralized infrastructure application by a large high-tech company built directly on Blockcain bitcoin.
The open source project, called Ion, deals with the basic mechanics of how networks communicate with one another. For example, if you sign in to Airbnb via Facebook, a protocol deals with software that sends your personal information from your social profile to your external service provider. In this case, Ion handles distributed identifiers that control the ability to prove that you own the keys to this data.
Christopher Allen, a longtime Crypto and founder of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for Distributed Identity Solutions (DID), told Windswatch that Microsoft’s move could affect the entire technology industry.
“A lot of enterprise infrastructure is using Microsoft products,” Allen said. “So if they incorporate this into all their infrastructure products, they will have access to DID.”
Indeed, Yureki Rhodes, a program manager for Microsoft’s engineering team, told Windseck that the Microsoft team has been working on software and software for a year, relying on public networks such as bitcoin or ethereum, but it can handle output much more than the basic block itself .
Highlighting the fact that Microsoft was a founding member of a distributed identity fund, Rhodes said:
“There are systems we have at Microsoft that give you enterprise-class permissions, a product called Active Directory, which we think should also identify the DIDs.”
He added products such as infrastructure and services related to Azure are among the most common Microsoft offerings. This tiny piece in a huge machine, then, can have far-reaching effects.
Meanwhile, an anonymous source with knowledge of Microsoft’s project said that CoinDesk will switch from using bitcoin’s testnet to mainc bitcoin later this year. As such, any tech savvy observer can run a node and contribute to this project.
Alan W3C said:
“In order for Microsoft to say that they are not afraid of Bitquin, and in fact, it has some very good features and we are ready to take advantage of these characteristics, it is, in my opinion, a step in the right direction.”
Step back, the difference between the DID under the hood, compared to the current infrastructure, speaks to the users who have their own content and access. In the example of Facebook and Airbnb, with DID, Facebook could be able to close your social media account, but could not turn off access to any tools that relied on the Facebook ID to log on. In addition, all of these personal photos on Facebook belonged to the user, who owns a DID.
However, Facebook, in particular, can not align with Microsoft’s approach.
Another anonymous source told Quindsk that although Facebook was invited to participate in DID projects and Microsoft community efforts, so far the social media company has declined and instead continued to track its historical access to user data.
“They are going in a different direction that is not decentralized,” said the source of Facebook.
The Wall Street Journal and others reported that Facebook is looking to build a port-based payment platform for the social network. However, Allen said he saw no effort from Facebook to support DID standards or community efforts such as the W3C, which may create a rift with corporations like Microsoft, which make such standards a core pillar of their business model.
Reuben Heck, head of DID at ConsensSys and an active member of the W3C, said that CoinDesk was absent significantly from community discussions across the technology industry on DIDs.
And although Rhodes said he was not aware of any deal with Facebook, it was clear that the mismatch between the company’s two goals for the use of blockchain technology.
“Facebook is the ultimate anti-thesis of consumer privacy,” he said. “Their business model is based on the fact that they can make profits from you.”
Moreover, the US Senate Banking Committee last week wrote a letter to Facebook, expressing concerns about how the social media company would handle financial data with its cryptography project, which is called a balance sheet. Some details on Libra have so far been shared outside the press reports.
Previously, Alan said that Facebook only implement parts of the protocols that allow data sharing “in a proprietary manner that only benefited” Facebook.
With regard to the approach that the social media giant will give to the Blocchien systems, the Facebook spokesman told Windsqink:
“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology.This new small team is exploring many different applications.