Let’s start with Microsoft, which announced the completion of ION, a decentralised authentication technology (DID), a second-tier application that uses Bitcoin’s blockchain to create digital identifiers that authenticate an entity online without being controlled by a third party.
As they themselves state, among all the technical developments required to provide decentralised identity, none is more important than decentralised identification (DID). Unlike traditional systems, users no longer need to identify themselves with passwords, e-mails and mobile phones for verification. DIDs are owned and controlled by the entity itself (whether it is an individual, device or company). No external body or trusted intermediary is involved.
For example, to connect to your email or social media (wherever they use ION), you will verify that you are the owner of your account by “signing” your DID with your ION account. Users can create and manage multiple IDs with different keys for different services. Thanks to the cryptographic links that ION creates in Bitcoin, the ION network will verify for the service provider that you have the ID associated with your account.
This is a radical new open-source framework. Anyone can download the code and run an ION node to use the service. In fact, the more nodes it operates, the stronger the network becomes, making it more robust and reliable. Project leader Daniel Buchner believes that security is ensured by the Bitcoin network, as it is too expensive for someone to attack.
News from Goldman Sachs
Less than a year has passed since Goldman Sacks made its first major Bitcoin presentation to its customers, calling it a “not an asset class” (it does not belong to the asset class). At the time, we described it as frustrating, not because it was negative towards Bitcoin, nor because it was one-sidedly biased, but because we did not imagine that the arguments they would use could possibly stand 5 or more years ago, when there was no extensive information about Bitcoin and its properties.
Didn’t they study it enough then or did they deliberately want to downplay its importance? Whatever the reason, the transformation they have now made is spectacular. And of course we are not just talking about the trading desk and trading futures of cryptocurrencies, but something bigger. Mathew McDermott, the bank’s global head of digital assets, said crypto had now reached a point where its adoption could not be reversed. People see them as a vehicle for preserving value and as a compensation for fears of devaluation of government currencies. There are different reasons why you might want to deal with different cryptocurrencies because of the underlying technology that is coming, he continues.
However, even that was not enough. The biggest practical proof of their fold was the application to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to be able to invest their clients’ money in “a product that generates income tied to a stock or a securities basket, such as an ETF.”, related to Bitcoin, for example, ETF ARK Innovation, which invests in the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust. If someone wanted to make fun of them, they would say that they intend to direct their customers to buy something that they themselves do not consider an asset.