Blockchain will evolve from beyond its application in finance and serve its purpose in government for identity, access to services and elections. Frederic Kerrest, COO & Co-Founder of Identity Specialist at Okta commented below.

Frederic Kerrest, COO & Co-Founder of Identity Specialist at Okta:

“Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, was made popular on the dark web, but its ability to decentralise the storage of transactions and make information almost impossible to destroy has piqued the interest of financial institutions. Going into 2018, we’re seeing speculation regarding blockchain’s use cases beyond finance — particularly around its potential for government, and whether or not blockchain could be used for identity, access to services and elections.

Most countries still rely on multiple documents like passports, supported by digital methods such as passwords, for everything from healthcare to voting rights. With blockchain, governments could consolidate this under one unique encrypted code, with an unparalleled level of security. To hack a blockchain, you would need so much computing power that it’s virtually impossible, making it appealing for critical services and identity. But for blockchain to gain traction as a form of identity, there are several major issues to address. A trusted entity will need to establish some legal and enforceable rules and policies for how it all works. They’ll need to make it easy for the average person to use securely, and they’ll need to convince a critical mass of people and service providers to adopt and trust the ID — all while finding an economically-viable business model.

Canada has already piloted a project that will allow citizens to use blockchain to prove identity to multiple parties, which is due to launch in 2018. We can expect this to become a priority in Europe very soon, too.”

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