Coinbase acquires Distributed Systems for digital identity dream
Digital asset platform Coinbase has acquired San Francisco-based start-up Distributed Systems as it plans to use cryptocurrencies and blockchain for validating and verifying identity.
Coinbase explains: “As we continue our work to bring cryptocurrency into the mainstream and help create an open financial system, it’s important that we continue to find new and innovative ways of validating and verifying identity.”
It believes blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies offers a new way to let people all be “verified” digitally.
As an example, it looks at Social Security numbers (SSN) in the US.
“Every time you want to prove who you are with your SSN, you need to give away a copy of it. That copy has exactly the same power as the original, so when there’s a data breach with copies of your data it puts your identity at risk. A decentralised identity will let you prove that you own an identity, or that you have a relationship with the Social Security Administration, without making a copy of that identity.”
In a nutshell, it’s all about creating anonymity and privacy. Ironic in a way, as we live in an age where many people share every detail of their lives on Facebook and Twitter.
The Distributed Systems team will help Coinbase work on this. The former has been working on decentralised identity solutions with its work on the Clear Protocol and GraphQL.
Financial details were not disclosed. Privacy reigns again it seems.