Blockchain Technology makes possible the Officially Recognised Digital Identity System the world needs.
What is Identity? - Identity means that you can defend your rights, have property, enter the formal economy, and fulfil your obligations. Having an identity is a basic human right.
As the world moved through its third industrial revolution to begin its fourth, sections of the world’s human population have found themselves increasingly disenfranchised and unable to access even the most basic rights let alone services related to health or finance.
Statistics show that in today’s world 1.7billion people are currently financially excluded. It is estimated that Governments around the world collectively expend an estimated 110 billion work hours annually on issues related to individuals lacking an officially recognised identity. McKinsey estimates that countries that address this issue would achieve cost savings of between 3-13% of their GDP. It is not just developing countries that are affected, over half of the people on the planet do not have an identity that contains any digital trail.
Finland have been quick to embrace Blockchain Technology and through their migration service (Migri) they have achieved huge benefits in the processing, care, financing, and employment of refugees and Asylum seekers that have entered the country. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is also advocating the use of Blockchain Technology to build a Digitised Civil Registration platform that can identify and assist the 65,000,000 persons that are displaced on the planet today.
The third industrial revolution saw the advent of the internet and life beginning its journey to move online. As online applications and services grew in number they developed as autonomous ecosystems with their own independent security and access requirements. Every time a person signs up with another service provider another round of identification verification takes place and more usernames and passwords are generated. This process sees identity sensitive information pertaining to the user copied and placed in the care and control of yet another service provider.
As the world developed in modern times it has predominantly split into groups that either have no digital footprint or those that are swamped. The exponential growth of digitally based services and applications has, as a naturally evolving ecosystem, moved much faster than its support capabilities. It really is time for the digital world to develop a simplified, co-ordinated, verified and authenticated, and more importantly single-instance data storage security layer with the user in control.
In order to develop a universal officially acceptable Digital Identity System a number of crucial criteria need to be met. The system should be a Self-Sovereign Identity System where the individual retains ownership and control over their own personal information. Information needed to verify Identity would only be released to the minimum extent necessary, and at all times only with the user’s consent. The system needs to be resilient to deletion, persistent, and have a high level of interoperability. Today, only Blockchain Technology is able to deliver the framework within which all of the requirements could be provided for plus, because of its incorruptible integrity, information placed in the Blockchain could be accepted without question in all matters of identity authorisation globally.
Public advocacy for an internationally recognised Digital Identity System is growing by the day. The United Nations along with individual forward-thinking countries are already exploring how Blockchain technology can provide the Trust Base that such a system will require. As the shift into Blockchain Technology continues to gather pace the need for services and tools that will speed up the rate at which developers are able to join the show will grow accordingly. Blockchain-as-a-Service will cut the cost of the entry ticket.