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Unblock the chain - the quest for a self-sovereign identity

While the federated approach to identity management (IdM) has been providing reliable and trustworthy service for many years, it has also become a victim of its own success and showed some limitations and shortcomings. There are efforts in the NREN community to work on a user-centric approach that provides a solution to these issues, mainly the need for a life-long identity. The blockchain is the core component for the digital currency bitcoin. But the concept behind it - called distributed ledger technology - might prove useful in many fields, one of them being identity management. Using distributed ledgers removes the need for a central instance coordinating the IdM process, instead giving ownership about the personal information back to the user. Sharing this information - attribute release - is also up to the individual and can be further anonymized using methods like zero-knowledge proof. While this all might sound like a perfect case for a round of buzzword bingo, I'll hopefully succeed in showing some of its potential.


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