Microsoft today advocated the launch of its ION layer. The world’s most famous computer software company revealed the launch of its decentralized identity platform developed on Bitcoin’s blockchain. Microsoft’s ION Network is a DID (Decentralized Identity) network created on top of the Bitcoin blockchain as a second-layer protocol. Instead of managing payments, Microsoft ION will manage identities and access to online accounts. This offers a guarded alternative to usernames and passwords.
Moreover, as a part of the launch, Microsoft used an ION node to its production infrastructure to help the young network. Microsoft further states that it is joining hands with various companies to assist in setting up other nodes. ION, Microsoft states, does not rely on trusted parties, validators, or governance tokens, responding immediately and only to its users. The network is open-source by default and user-friendly, enabling anybody to operate a node in its network. Talking about future products, Microsoft admits that this is only the commencement of its journey, with a vision for an indeed “decentralized web.”
Microsoft’s ION takes Inspiration from a existing protocol, Sidetree
Microsoft’s decentralized identity network efforts have been in development for four years. Moreover, ION has been in progress since 2019. The project launched in beta version in June 2020. Further, Microsoft enumerates that ION has developed from an existing protocol named Sidetree. Sidetree came into existence through the efforts of Microsoft and various other tech companies. Prominent contributors involve the enterprise Ethereum firm ConsenSys, the Bitcoin wallet company Casa, the payment processor BitPay and the crypto exchange Gemini. Additionally, Cloudflare and Protocol Labs (IPFS) also played a significant part in the project.
Microsoft already supports various blockchain-focused projects via its cloud service, Microsoft Azure Cloud. The launch of ION will possibly accumulate more attention for its deployment of Bitcoin’s blockchain mainly. While it is not unusual for projects to leverage Bitcoin’s Blockchain, Ethereum remains the preferred network for new decentralized apps (dApps). Nevertheless, in current months, Ethereum has suffered criticism due to its unsustainably high fees. However, Bitcoin’s blockchain may not be necessarily more scalable than Ethereum; the enthusiasm to experiment is high, as Ethereum’s cost is very high. Moreover, we may witness high demand for Bitcoin’s blockchain for the development of dApps.
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