In 2017, an independent trust and data-driven consulting firm called One World Identity (OWI) released a report that sought to lay the groundwork for understanding blockchain identity.
These report identified five primary conclusions on 2017’s blockchain and identity outlook:
- Smart contracts are under-explored
- Authorization use cases have growth potential
- Blockchain has a problem with identity creation
- The pivot on the chain / off channel is a persistent challenge
- Investors and entrepreneurs need to better align the functionality of the blockchain with identity use cases
Earlier this month, OWI released a new report outlining its 2017 findings, titled "Blockchain and Identity in 2018: A Promising and Leading Year."
The report examines whether the five assertions of last year have materialized and establishes five new forecasts for 2018.
In a summary of the new report, OWI found that the market was beginning to address issues critical to blockchain development in the identity space, offering solutions around a defined set of identity use cases and that Governance structures were designed based on targeted functionality and regulatory concerns. Here are the results obtained by OWI in 2017:
INTELLIGENT CONTRACTS ARE NOT REPLACED
Some early and proven tools prove the viability of smart contracts for identity use cases. Smart contracts are at the heart beat of the authentication architecture of the most established players in the industry.
The overall speed of development in the contract space, both for identity and for broader use cases, has increased. Security concerns remain a significant factor, but intelligent contract technologies and the ability to solve them are evolving.
USE AUTHORIZATION CASES HAVE GROWTH POTENTIAL
While the adoption of block-based authorization solutions on the market remains weak compared to the other elements of identity, OWI remains optimistic about the potential of distributed books for identity authorizations objects (IDoT).
The main players in the platform, as well as the companies, have developed plans for experimenting with or simply implementing identity and authorization based on block chains, including Microsoft, Okta, IBM and the major banks and financial institutions.
BLOCKCHAIN HAS A PROBLEM OF IDENTITY CREATION
Creating an identity for people, entities, and other non-native elements of the digital world continue to pose a persistent problem for blockchain-based identity technologies.
To solve this problem, organizations are combining legacy real-world credentials with block-string-based security and the ability to transform digital identity manifestations.
Some of the pioneers of blockchain-identity have developed the necessary technology for this purpose, but large-scale operational adoption remains necessary to gain ground in this area.
PIVOT ON CHAIN / OFF-CHAIN IS A PERSISTENT CHALLENGE
The point of transferring identity data between a real-world person and a digital representation on the chain is not a problem that a large distributed book can solve, and translation errors are a long-term problem.
Over the past year, OWI has found that organizations are seeking to meet this challenge by bringing the goal of physical creation and digital creation closer together.
INVESTORS AND ENTREPRENEURS NEED TO ALIGN BLOCKCHAIN FUNCTIONALITY WITH IDENTITY USE CASES
The past year has been marked by widespread fundraising fraud and blockchain technology scams, proving the need for a more critical approach to align existing identity issues with solutions.
However, the idea of "blockchain" continues to gain ground and promotes the development of practical and innovative identity solutions.
Overall, many of OWI's predictions were accurate, even though space is growing to solve the most pressing problems quickly. The report highlights 18 companies and organizations - including 13 selected companies and five emerging companies to watch - at the front of the blockchain identity landscape.
Each is shaping the development of space and seeking to meet its challenges by building a necessary foundation while developing and deploying identity-specific answers.
These actors will shape the future of identity and blockchain. The support and solutions proposed in 2018, 2019 and beyond are therefore essential for monitoring.