The US IT giant unveiled ION, an open-source decentralized identity solution that runs on the bitcoin blockchain.

Microsoft published an open-source solution for creating decentralized identifiers (DIDs). The protocol works on the basis of the bitcoin blockchain. It took four years to develop a second-tier solution called ION, according to an official Microsoft blog post.

“ION doesn’t rely on special utility tokens, trusted validator nodes, or additional consensus mechanisms; the deterministic progression of Bitcoin’s linear block chronology is the only consensus it requires. The core promise of DID technology is to empower all individuals and entities with ownership and control over their identities, which aligns well with our mission of empowering every person to work, play, and achieve more,” the blog post reads.

“We have deployed an ION node to our production infrastructure and are working together with other companies and organizations to do so as well,” said Daniel Buchner of Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity team.

He explained that the solution uses an open-source protocol so that anyone can run their own node. “In fact, the more nodes in operation, the stronger the network becomes.”

Identifiers via ION are bound to data in bitcoin transactions using the IPFS protocol. Nodes will be able to process up to 10,000 DID confirmation requests in a single transaction. ION aims to simplify user verification while enhancing the security of communications in the network.

Users will be able to use decentralized DIDs as a digital document to confirm the right to a certain set of services, enter personal accounts, received education, and so on.

Unlike traditional identity documents, DIDs will be owned and controlled by the users themselves, regardless of an external organization or third party.

Buchner also explained the choice of the Bitcoin blockchain as the basis for the ION. “When we started crunching the numbers, we realized that Bitcoin was the only chain that would probably be too costly to attack.”