Identity management is a key issue in the blockchain world, central to a number of real-world applications of the technology.
Alex Fauvel, general partner at TwoHop Ventures, took time out at the recent CoinGeek Conference in Seoul to address issues of identity management, and to discuss his plans for an on-chain solution that allows more effective, secure management of individual identity.
Fauvel said that one of the fundamental problems with blockchain at the moment is that owning a digital asset is in practice, not legally possible. This is because digital assets are effectively just data that can be copied, pasted, and passed on to anyone.
To ensure that assets can’t just be given away freely, ownership needs to be tied to a more permanent record of identity. While there have been a number of attempts to date to build this type of model, they fall down because identity is not being recorded on chain.
This means these services are relying on company servers to authenticate identity, creating a single point of failure—if a company goes bankrupt, for example, identity is lost.
Fauvel said that the solution was on-chain identity that survives any single point of failure, by recording unique identity information on the blockchain and tying this data to asset ownership.
Naturally, any data written to the blockchain can be publicly accessed, raising security concerns for those building and relying on this type of system. The solution, according to Fauvel, is to encrypt the data, as well as identity, and to hide sensitive encrypted data within other encrypted data on the chain.
He said this provides a foundation model for recording identity data securely on-chain by ensuring attackers don’t even know where to look to find the data they need to unencrypt to carry out an attack.
Billed as a general solution to secure data storage and identity management on the blockchain, Fauvel said there were a number of applications where verifiable identity was essential, such as managing title deeds on the blockchain and blockchain voting.