Why Standards Are The Next Big Step For Blockchain Based Identity

There’s a big “elephant in the room” about identity — defining what it is. I’ve written about it here. We need clearer definitions around what we mean by identity, both from a business/process perspective and from a usage perspective.

As the industry works on the standardization of types of identity and the uses of identity types, I wanted to spend more time on overall identity standards — the deep, tactical, necessary step of making identity data portable, reusable, and secure.

There are several players trying to standardize digital identities, not just on a blockchain. Here are some of the ones I’ve been studying:

Why are standards so important to the maturity of blockchain-based identity solutions? Pikcio believes there are several benefits to standards for identity:

  • Standards bring clarity. Clarity helps everyone move forward with a common purpose and vision. Just as ISO 9001 helped companies in many industries improve product quality and compliance, identity standards will help organizations in all industries with best practices for capture, validation, and sharing of identity data. There will be less extraneous work as everyone convenes around similar principles.
  • Better security and data protection come with standardization. Once everyone has agreed to standards, then security professionals can work collaboratively on protecting identity data and systems. This will allow entire industries to combat hacking and other threats compared to every individual company fending for itself to protect unique systems.
  • More comfort in the output. Today identity vendors talk a lot about how companies will gain the financial, compliance, and customer experience improvements from reusing blockchain-based identity data. Individual consumers will gain more value from control over their own data. However, for those benefits to occur, both individuals and organizations need to be able to trust the output from identity systems. Standards will give all users more comfort that they can trust identity systems that use blockchain.

We need standards to help us clarify how we’ll all work together toward the common good of protected and self-sovereign identities. As standards are created, we’ll have more people working on the same models. Ultimately having more people in the same space is better than small tribes each trying to figure out the best way to expand and protect their own little corners of the distributed identity universe.