Your Identity in Decentralized World

Sign-in with Blockchain

The first thing you will do after starting any application is log-in. In the centralized world, typically it happens with Google, Facebook. This is also called as “Sign In with” workflow. Though it is super convenient but not private as important user information is shared with the log-in provider and can be used for tracking without explicit consent. The information mined with login details and tracked user behavior will typically be used for as simple as a targeted advertisement to more complex use of influencing user behavior.

Let’s see how we can create a decentralized identity that you can control. We will be using Blockstack platform to create our decentralized id. Blockstack is blockchain-based decentralized platform and applications ecosystem. Read more about Blockstack here https://blockstack.org/. Visit https://browser.blockstack.org/sign-up and click on “Create new ID” and create a username.

After your ID is created successfully, the following message will be displayed.

The identity created above is a combination of username and key. The above identity can be used with the decentralized application to provide explicit access to your personal information. Also, access to your information can be easily revoked at any time when you want. Let’s see in detail how these keys are created. The technology used here is called as Blockchain Name System (BNS). It basically represents a pair of human-readable name and blockchain address. It will take some time to create an address on the blockchain. Once created, you can check identity details at https://explorer.blockstack.org/name/mngaonkar.id.blockstack. In your case, replace the identity with your own.

In the above example the identity name is mngaonkar.id.blockstack and the corresponding public address is 1JYAA7QL81vcVooZd6c84YNpx9NsMd8EwF.

Blockchain Name System is inherently resistant to distributed denial (DDoS) of service attack as the database is replicated to other BNS nodes all over the world. The name to blockchain address can be resolved by querying any of the available BNS node.

The next step is to use the newly created decentralized identity. You can use this identity to log in to a web site based on decentralized technology. One of such example web application is https://player.dotpodcast.co/.

This is a podcast web site that is completely based on decentralized podcast hosting. This web site securely identifies a user and allows podcasters to host their content without any regulation.

Blockstack platform has many decentralized applications that can be used with your newly created identity. You can find more details about the applications here https://browser.blockstack.org. This is just a first step toward the decentralized applications.  It’s one of the fastest moving areas of development today with lots of players in the field. In the future, we can expect the decentralized platforms to consolidate towards few standards and help the developer to quickly write applications in an interoperable way. Till then playing with available decentralized applications is a fun way to understand this technology better. 

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Mahadev Gaonkar

About

Mahadev Gaonkar is Cloud and Mobile Technical architect having 15+ years of experience in professional software applications development. He has worked with storage, networking and cloud vendors to design and develop enterprise software for datacenter and cloud solutions. He has a solid experience in technical pre-sale and solution architectures with emerging technologies.

More on Mahadev Gaonkar.

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