Wisekey says blockchain removes need for centralised digital ID

16/07/19

WISeKey, Swiss based cybersecurity, IoT and blockchain company combining traditional Cryptographic Trust Models with blockchain global distributed ledgers, is creating a new Global Trust Platform for Secure Electronic Transactions under the umbrella of the International Organization for Secure Electric Transactions, OISTE.ORG.

According to the latest estimates, we generate around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. That's 2.5 followed by 17 zeros — or rather 2.5 trillion million — a number that's impossible to visualize intuitively, but nonetheless has massive implications for our online privacy,  security and ability to keep our digital identities under  our own personal control.

Blockchain-based solutions aim to override the need for a central authority by distributing information previously held in a centralized repository across a network of participating nodes. While blockchain is not owned by one individual or organization, anyone with an internet connection (and access, in the case of private blockchains) can make use of it, help maintain and verify it. When a transaction is made on a blockchain, it is added to a group of transactions, known as ‘blocks.” Each block of transactions is added to the database in a chronological, immutable chain. Each block is stamped with a unique cryptographic code, which ensures that records are not counterfeited or changed. The blockchain approach lacks legal validity in most jurisdictions, which only recognize the digital signatures as equally valid that manuscript signatures when generated using traditional PKI technology.

A user-controlled digital identity typically starts with a number, unique to an individual, that is associated with a public key for which the user has the private key issued by the OISTE/WISeKey Crypto Graphic RootKey. The WISeID Network is a most deployed standard for digital identity operating since 1998 by a non for-profit organization - OISTE.ORG – designed to bring the neutrality, trust, consent, personal control, and ease-of-use of Digital IDs to the Internet.

A Root of Trust (RoT) is a source that can always be trusted within a cryptographic system. A principal example is a Trusted Certification Authority (CA) which generates digital certificates that can be used for legally binding signed electronic transactions. The traditional PKI does not fit well with the heterogeneous blockchain distributed trust model that leverages the existing trust domains and bridges them to create end-to-end trust between them without relying on any common RoT.

The combination of RoT with blockchain generates a new Trust protocol in order to allow the blockchain to scale trusted transactions with embedded security, ensuring that each transaction submitted to the blockchain is digitally signed using keys that are trusted by the RoT and combining a vertical trust process verified by a reputable Third Trusted Party with the inherent decentralized trust provided by the blockchain.

This dual Trust Model solves one of the biggest challenges for the Internet which is to bridge the currently fragmented trust domains including existing, incompatible national RoT used by many governments. By combining RoT with blockchain, our innovative Trust protocol enables a wide range of use cases and business models that simply are not possible with using just current blockchain-based solutions.

One concrete application on the use of this new Trust protocol is WISeCoin. WISeCoin is a Trusted Distributed Ledger Technology of Identity used to store the identity of objects and peoples and offers connected objects the ability to identify, authenticate and verify each other with a digital certificate. During each interaction, the Blockchain of Identity verifies and validates each digital certificate to secure the interaction. To compensate the use of the platform, a micro service fee is charged through a utility token, called the WISeCoin token.

Wisecoin operates in sync with WISeKey’s WISeID that offers a secured storage to protect personally identifiable information (PII). Protecting individual’s  PII is important to avoid impersonation and identity theft. The personal data that individuals save  in WISeID always stays under their control, is encrypted with strong keys derived from a password that they choose and only they know and is never communicated to third parties.

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