According to a recently published patent application, the payment giant Mastercard is considering the possibility of using a blockchain to protect identity information. This isr eported by Coindesk.
A statement published by the US Patent and Trademark Office describes a system in which a semi-private or private blockchain is used to obtain and store identification information, including "names, addresses, taxpayers' numbers," etc.
In its application, the company writes that the tech could help it block the use of fake identity data within its systems.
The use of a blockchain for the storage of identity and credential data may provide for an immutable storage of such data that can provide an accurate verification thereof and also prevent the fabrication of such data.
The application explains that the system will generate a "data file" for each unit with which the public key and "geographical jurisdiction" will be associated. These units will be "controlled", while the "master" unit will digitally sign on their data files. A "hashing module of the processing server" would subsequently generate an "identity value" for each entity and create a block with a timestamp and a record of the most recent block added to the blockchain.
Mastercard blockchain will not be public, which means that only authorized nodes will be able to transfer data in it. They will "prevent the addition of data that may compromise the accuracy of the data stored therein", the application said.
In other words, only the approved nodes of the Mastercard will be able to update the identification information with the system. The company notes that the proposed system can replace existing systems in which information can be fabricated or contain inaccuracies.
In such instances, it may be difficult for an entity to disprove a false identity, leading to an interaction with an inauthentic individual or entity. Thus, there is a need for a technical solution to provide for the immutable storage of identity and credential data that may prevent fabrication and inaccuracies.
To date, Mastercard has filed several patent applications, which mention the blockchain. In one of them, the possibility of creating a service for reimbursement of funds spent for the purchase of crypto-currency by users of funds is being considered, in the other - a database on a blockchain that is capable of instantly processing payments.