Telecom company Verizon just won a patent that allows it to start making virtual SIMs on blockchain technology. The company won the patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on September 10. In the patent, the company expressed its ideas about a product that would make these pre-inserted SIM cards obsolete.
The company hopes to create software that acts like a SIM virtually (vSIM). The software would be secured by blockchain encryption and erase the need for a physical SIM. A device on the network would create an account to store one or more vSIMs. The user can then choose which network services are to be associated with the account.
The network device would then record data on the blockchain consisting of a vSIM certificate and an International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI). The IMSI is a number that uniquely Identifies all users of a network. The vSIM certificate is then linked to the user account and can be activated on the client’s cell phone.
The nodes on the network will be storing records about the clients on the vSIM blockchain – a decentralized consensus network existing solely for vSIM support and development. The blockchain will be protected using time-stamped transactions in secured blocks. Furthermore, all data would be stored in a hash-tree pattern that would allow the blocks to be transferred efficiently and safely.
According to Verizon, the Virtual SIM can be accessed through as various devices linked with the account. The Virtual SIM can be effortlessly shifted across the devices while it can also be temporarily given to other users as well. The system would be supported on a platform hosted by the mobile network provider. This platform would incorporate numerous application programming interfaces (APIs) for increased efficiency.
Verizon has been quite active in the blockchain ecosystem recently and has supported a funding round for blockchain company Filament.