Microsoft and Hyperledger joined ID2020 Alliance

A blockchain identity initiative gets huge donation from Microsoft
23 January 2018   322

The ID2020 Alliance gets reinforced with titans of the IT industry and world politics: Microsoft, Hyperledger, UN International Computing Center and agency Mercy Corps join the initiative. Microsoft has already donated $1 mln. Among the most distinguished donors are the Rockfeller Foundation and Accenture.

The project aims to provide digital identity, equal to a passport, and would incorporate forms of legal identification issued by the government. The process is promised to be smooth for both people and institutions. The focus is user’s direct ownership and control over the personal data. The addressed issue is the fact that approximately 1.1 bln people can’t prove their identity and as a consequence, can’t access benefits and services.

Additionally, in June 2017 Microsoft and Accenture unveiled a prototype of the ID2020 project. It was deployed on a private ethereum blockchain located in Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform. The app was built over a six-week period with all the intended functions - it proves that in the future the project won’t take much long to be deployed as a fully operational solution. The prototype itself serves as a cryptographically protected store of the verified data. Existing identity providers are responsible for the verification.

As for the reactions, on Twitter for example were mainly skeptical about the idea:

@Dibbs_ZA said «They are going to be pushing that system they developed with Accenture, then this is definitely going in the wrong direction. Their statement: You own the key to your data. Reality: YOUR secure data is in THEIR vault which you require THEIR permission to access».

@jfoxdev said «Unnerving. Not to go biblical, but uhh... eh, just count me out on this one».

@CryptoLobos said «What exactly means "private version of ethereum"?!! Seems to contradict decentralization and public ledger idea».

 

Hyperledger Sawtooth is Ready for Business

Intel’s "Hyperledger Sawtooth" version 1.0 released
30 January 2018   286

Today it was revealed that Hyperledger Sawtooth is officially ready for enterprise use. It is now also the second open-source blockchain platform after Hyperledger Fabric.

With the release, Sawtooth marks the business debut of a new consensus mechanism called “proof-of-elapsed-time” (PoET). So, instead of having the participants to solve a cryptographic puzzle, the algorithm uses special processor instructions to ensure new blocks are produced randomly like a lottery; no work required. Potentially, anybody with the CPU that supports new instruction is eligible to be part of the consensus process, and it is very energy-efficient.

This very instruction also provides hardware security solutions for enterprises that want to integrate Sawtooth into its business line. Thus, Intel delivers a balance between utilizing the strengths of a public blockchain with transaction volume and enterprise security demands.

The final version also supports Solidity smart contract language, along with Go, Javascript, Python. Among the early companies who already use Hyperledger Sawtooth are Huawei, T-Mobile and Amazon.

As for the reactions on social networks, some Twitter users were sarcastic: @MadBitcoins said “How is this breaking?”; and @kgorin said “Does it leak memory too?”. Some were optimistic: @minigin_courses said “Sweet!!!! $btc #Bitcoin”.