I had a fantastic day yesterday in the company of some very smart people, looking at how the blockchain could be used to solve identity problems. Many thanks to HackC0in for organising the event, and to Eris and Diacle for sponsoring it. Also to Barclays Accelerator for providing the space for the event. Suitably grungy, noisy, no aircon - just what every start-up expects!
The event brief was
One of the most complex issues to date in the blockchain sphere. Some use case to reflect on include: * Reduce fraud and increase trust (proving identity) * Reduce friction and drive efficiencies (registration, single login and payments) * Enable customer to control their data (consent and permissions) * The ability to prove identity with alternative data sources i.e. if someone doesn’t have a driver’s license or passport. * Identity creation on the blockchain
One problem that Paul Ferris presented was identity for children in developing countries. Paul has been working with CCF Cambodia Children’s Fund, and recounted how CCF takes a picture of the children it assists, and how this becomes part of their identity. I discussed with Paul how charities could take a sequence of pictures of a child, as the child grows up, and this visual history (where the face in each picture can be linked to the face in the previous year’s picture) provides an iterative link between an adult and their originally assigned metadata. And if each picture jpg included as metadata the hash of the previous jpg, then the series of jpgs becomes a blockchain in its own right, and if each picture jpg hash was written to an immutable public blockchain, then the person’s identity (as a series of personal pictures, metadata and pictures of supporting documents, such as birth certificates and exam certificates, becomes the verifiable identity of that person.
This is a complex concept, and I’ll write up more about it in my next blog post.