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Blockchain For Identities

Does blockchain finally bring the transparency and accountability needed for an internet scale identity provider?

Blockchain For Identities

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Reasonably Accurate 馃馃 Transcript

All right, good morning builders. How's it going today? Um, a little bit of a different look. Um, still working on the technicality and the dynamics. Um, last couple of times when I did this, I was actually broadcasting off my Brio webcam, which is a great little webcam.

But, uh, today I thought, why not use the big lens. Um, so, uh actually off the Ds LR, um, a little bit different lighting, still dealing with that reflection. Um But my partner had a fantastic idea how to tackle that.

So we'll see if that comes in. Uh I gotta order in, uh some curtains or some adjustments there. Um, see if that comes in tomorrow. Um But in the meantime, it's another morning, uh, with Mark, I've got my tea.

Hopefully you've got some coffee. Um, let's have a chat after we have some tea because I need my warm up in the morning. Um, so yesterday, we were talking about, um, risk assessments. We talked earlier this week about perspective.

Um Today I want to say a bad word. I want to say a word that's just covered in hype and it's ridiculous. Um, I wanna talk about Blockchain. I'm sorry, I'm sorry that I want to talk about this. Um But I think it's really interesting and the reason why I talked about this is I actually was having a discussion with, um David Jones at the Ecommerce Times earlier this week about an announcement that Microsoft made around digital identity and they had tied it to a Blockchain based architecture.

Um Now, most of you probably have heard the term Blockchain but probably aren't quite aware of what it is or have gotten caught up in the red amounts of hype that Blockchain has been associated with and normally Blockchain is associated with hype related to um digital currencies.

So most common Bitcoin or Ethereum or others. But what there has been lately is a rash of what's called initial coin offerings or IC Os. Now, the challenge here is that there's been a bunch of scams around IC Os.

There's been everybody trying to throw their hat in the ring for IC O. So announced an initial coin offering like Kodak, the old camera and film manufacturer. Um And then my absolute personal favorite, the Long Island Iced Tea Company who made non alcoholic iced tea, switched their name to the Long Island Blockchain company and is now exploring Blockchain technology.

So a massive I won't even say pivot just to like stop readjust into another area. And it's not that that's necessarily going to be excuse me, a bad move. It is that a lot of people are pushing digital currencies without the understanding.

That is just because it is easy to set one up, doesn't mean that its overall system will actually be sustainable. So even Bitcoin, which is sort of the most common and the most well understood has had significant challenges. But Blockchain is not digital currency, digital currency, use Blockchain technologies in order to work.

But Blockchain itself is a really interesting idea. It's a really interesting architecture and I'm going to link to a video that cnet did. That was a really good minute 30 explanation of what Blockchain actually is. But essentially the key takeaway that you need to understand is a way for to verify transactions in a public and decentralized manner.

Now, what that means is that there's no one organization that is the arbiter of everything they are not the go to nothing has to go through one central place, it goes through peer to peer, it's decentralized that's critical for what we're talking about today.

Also the fact that you can verify it. So there's a level of transparency around the transactions and the integrity of the data is absolutely critical. And this is what Microsoft has announced and they've given us an update this week on what they're working around digital identity.

Now, digital identity is a really tricky tricky thing because we have it, it's hard enough within organizations, it's difficult in public. And over the last few years, we've kind of um defaulted to a few major identity providers. So you will see when you go to different websites, you are asked to log in with Facebook, right?

Well, Facebook is now becoming a de facto identity provider. Same with your Google account, log in with Google or log in with Twitter and sometimes even with linkedin. Now there's a bunch of technologies behind how all this works.

But the core concept is that these companies are controlling your identity. And we know for Google, we know for Facebook, we know for all these companies, they are ad driven. Um and they make money off understanding your behavior and your profiles.

That's the trade off. We get the ability to easily interact and share and uh have great communal experiences. The trade off is um we're being data mined, we're being sold to sometimes that's a good trade off sometimes that's not.

But the interesting thing that was tied to this Microsoft announcement and it's not just Microsoft, there's others in the Decentralized Identity Foundation, the dif and again, I'll, I'll link that down low and where they're looking at doing a um Blockchain based identity system.

So here we come back to the key aspects of Blockchain, we get the ability to do decentralized transactions. So no one company is going to be in control of this, which means you the user are control of your data because the verification piece, the transparency piece of Blockchain, make sure that you can verify that your data isn't changing without your knowledge.

So there's a lot of complexities behind this. But I think it's really, really fascinating because the push over the last 20 years has been to have one core or a few core central identity providers. And we have that the challenge for us as digital citizens is that those identities are resting with third party companies that are for profit.

That's not a bad thing. It's just this is a trade off that with something as core as identity, you might not want to be making the interesting work done around ID 2020 around the Digital Decentralized Identity. Um Foundation is the idea of handing that back so that no one community or no one company is in control and that is a huge win potentially for users for privacy.

It's a huge win for control over identity and being able to have some measure of control over our digital self. So this is the work is just in its stages, you can tell by one of the initiatives being called 2020 there's still a couple of years away from production.

There's a lot of technical issues to work through. There's a lot of logistical and sort of communication issues to go through as well because as you probably know, if you dabbled in the digital currency realm, this kind of stuff is not necessarily the smoothest user experience and there can be a lot of challenges, but it is exciting work.

It's absolutely exciting work and it is something that is critical and something that needs to be done. Um And it's good that a major company like Microsoft is putting their foot forward, hopefully other uh other major players in the industry, throw their hats in the ring as well because identity is literally who we are and representing that online is absolutely critical.

So I will be thinking a little bit more about that today. I also diving into some more stuff around how I share how I get um some educational material, how I get the message and communicate it with. Um You folks.

Um So I'm kind of a little bit scatter brained today, but it's a Thursday, it's also Black Panther opening day. So I think it's OK to be a little scatter brained. Um But lots of exciting stuff going on.

Um We'll see where I end up by the end of the day, but I hope you guys are set up for a great day as always looking to chat, looking to, to have a great conversation around digital identity around.

Anything else? Reach out to me here on Facebook or on Twitter? Oh First try this time. See, I'm getting better at this. Um at marknca same with linkedin. Uh You hit me up anywhere. Always happy to chat looking to have that conversation because that's how we all learn.

That's how we all move forward till then. I hope you guys have a great day and I'll talk to you tomorrow. Builders. Oh, now I have to duck and find the stop button, but of course I don't have my goggles.

So that's gonna be crazy. There we go. Yay. The downsides. See the beauty of live streaming. We're still working on some of the technicalities. But you can see with the ring light, this is the downside of a ring lightning glasses.

It's not a cool look unless it's in sunglasses and it's a music video, but that's not what this is. Hope you guys have a great day. We'll talk to you tomorrow.

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