Insights & Analyses

Microsoft’s blockchain identity initiative gains Tierion to speed up transactions

February 6, 2017

Microsoft aims to use the decentralized nature of blockchain to give people and organizations control of their identity and related data, and newly announced partner Tierion will assist by improving both speed and security.

Tierion’s technology helps to ensure there hasn’t been collusion to modify data, by linking data to the blockchain and generating a timestamp to prove integrity and existence. As noted by Microsoft in announcing the partnership, this level of authentication is crucial for markets such as financial services, healthcare and insurance.

In addition, Tierion will also help Microsoft speed up blockchain transactions. Bitcoin can only currently handle about four transactions per second, but Tierion has pledged to improve the process by cryptographically linking millions of data points to a single transaction.

Teirion has committed to a collaboration on attestations with Microsoft, as the Windows maker aims to make it simple to verify identities and validate data. Microsoft is building technology that will let users sign data, claims, or agreements with their identities — also known as an attestation.

Microsoft plans to keep attestations in secure datastores that are owned by users, giving people full control of their identity, or “self-sovereign identity.”

Beyond Microsoft and Tierion, multiple parties view blockchain technology as the future of secure online transactions. Last month, IBM and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced they will test whether blockchain can be use to improve public health, allowing for secure exchange of personal health data online.