With non-financial giants making headlines for joining the crypto-race, numerous enthusiasts remain unsure about what is motivating such decisions. To uncover the secret behind one such development, WhatBitcoinDid podcast host Peter McCormack, interviewed Microsoft’s Daniel Buchner to understand why Microsoft was building decentralized IDs on the Bitcoin blockchain.
While the interview started with Buchner speaking about his involvement in the crypto-space, he expanded on Microsoft’s cultural shift in working with opensource projects, unlike in the 90s. He also connected the cultural shift with Microsoft’s recent announcement related to the launch of their decentralized identity program, which would use the Bitcoin blockchain to create user identifiers. He said,
“We want to make it possible for people to own all aspects of their identity and control it. It’s something that we just don’t have today, that we’ve lost really on the web.”
Buchner further explained how the resultant technology would enable users to create DIDs [decentralized identifiers], which would not be under centralized control like existing email IDs. The DIDs are intended to work as a unique identifier for every user to gain access to any online service, based on trust. He also claimed that Microsoft would build the entire DID-powered ecosystem by partnering with other companies. He added,
“We (Microsoft) are not trying to win, we’re just trying to make sure that it exists.”
When asked about disrupting the existing market which thrives on selling user data, Buchner clarified that such businesses could still earn revenue by being more upfront and slightly different in their approach while collecting user data. He also cited a terrible user experience when he tried removing data from Google’s services.
Along the same lines, Facebook has also announced its plans to place “higher focus on privacy”. Buchner concluded the topic by saying,
“It (privacy) needs to be led by a company like Microsoft. So we’re definitely going to put tools in users’ hands that make this easier.”