Microsoft Launches Identity Platform on Bitcoin Mainnet, Beta Testing Underway

Microsoft just launched the public beta of its decentralized identity ecosystem, ION, on the Bitcoin mainnet.

Daniel Buchner, Microsoft’s senior program manager for decentralized identity, touted the development in a blog post on Wednesday.

Announced last year, ION is designed to be a decentralized network that will allow people to manage their own digital identities. Built on open source code, it’s a public, permissionless ‘layer 2’ network that operates independently of centralized parties, even Microsoft, according to Buchner.

ION is now ready for people to create decentralized identifiers (DIDs), Buchner says.

“To get started with ION, you can create ‘unpublished’ ION DIDs with basic client libraries (which you can instantly use for authentication and credential use cases), run your own node to create ‘published’ DIDs that are discoverable on the ION network, or find a node to publish DID operations for you.

Since the keys for your DIDs never leave your hands, and all ION operations are signed locally on your device, you have the assurance that only you can modify the state of your DIDs, no matter how you choose to interact with the ION network.”

Microsoft plans to launch the final v1 version of ION this fall, taking into account the feedback of early adopters, code contributors, and node operators.