By Bojan Simic, Forbes Councils May 31, 2018
A crypto-craze fueled by digital currency volatility is bringing blockchain technology, the digital ledger system that underlies such currencies, into the spotlight. At the same time, recent calls to take back ownership of personal identity are making blockchain’s decentralized nature more appealing. As demonstrated by consumer data breaches — including those affecting Orbitz, Saks Fifth Avenue and more recently, Delta Airlines — our personal information is highly susceptible to fraud when stored in centralized databases. As an increasing amount of the world’s banking and commerce moves online, the temptation for mischief and theft has increased as well. However, blockchain may hold the key to keeping identities safe through its core feature of decentralization.
Identity Data Risks Are Growing
Blockchain could act as the foundation of the root identity question “Who Am I?” as opposed to the authentication query “Am I Who I Say I Am?” These systems can securely store and make readily available all kinds of information, including sensitive data like our financial history and health records. As consumers, our need to present this data at the time of service, or the point of sale or care, has risen with service providers’ increased online presence.