Blockchain has something of a mixed reputation, mainly as it's the underlying technology used in cryptocurrency applications that are often used by criminals to transfer funds without detection. But cryptocurrency is just one application that the blockchain platform can be used for. Accenture and Microsoft have teamed up to use blockchain as the basis for an identity management platform.
In the western world, we take it for granted that we can be easily identified in order to travel, open bank accounts and even enter the local RSL. But over a billion people on our planet struggle to prove who they are. And this excludes them society in myriad ways.
The prototype system developed by Accenture runs on Microsoft Azure. It's designed to interoperate with existing identity systems so personally identifiable information always resides “off chain.”
I've spoken with a number of experts over the last couple about how the blockchain could be used for identity services. While most though there was some potential, this is the first application I've seen of its type with the backing of large players with the funds and resources to try it on a large scale.