Microsoft and Hyperledger joined ID2020 Alliance

A blockchain identity initiative gets huge donation from Microsoft
23 January 2018   533

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».


American Express to Use Blockchain for Loyalty Program

Program will allow merchants to reward customers for purchasing specific items at their stores
24 May 2018   96

The international payment giant American Express (AmEx), in partnership with the Hyperledger consortium and the online retailer Boxed, integrates distributed ledger technology into its customer loyalty program. This is reported by AP News.

According to AmEx representatives, Hyperledger technology allows merchants to create various reward programs. The latter, in particular, allow to reward American Express cardholders for purchasing goods in partner networks of stores.

Also, the project participants note that the program implemented in partnership with Boxed allows customers to earn five times as many loyalty points as usual. The new technological solution allows commercial firms to increase the involvement of their AmEx cardholder customers by offering products tailored for them, as well as regulating the reward structure.

AmEx partners have the right to independently choose products for which they would like to increase demand through a compensation program. The only exception is firearms, tobacco and alcohol products. American Express, in turn, reserves the right to independently choose the promoted brands.

According to representatives of American Express, a full version of the new blockchain system can be launched in the coming weeks.