Blockchange and Identity: The Foundational Use Case

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Beyond Attributes – Challenges and Opportunities Across the Identity Lifecycle

Stages of the Identity Lifecycle91

Unlike the government-issued ID cards that we often associate with the concept, identity is a process, not a thing. To inform our analysis of if, when, and how blockchain can provide value in the identity space, we must first consider the stages of the identity lifecycle and the problems experienced within each stage.

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Assigning a trusted identifier to a person, tangible object, or intangible object.


Managing identifiers – both by the provider and the user – including standards setting, attribute collection and storage, access, and service provision.


The process of linking a person or object to attributes collected. Authentication approaches generally rely on one of three factors: 1) something you know, like a password; 2) something you have, like an identity card or QR code; or 3) something you “are,” most often in the form of biometric information, like a fingerprint.92


Confirming what actions the confirmed identity can take – in many cases, providing access to goods and services based on attributes.


Monitoring user access to resources. Also entails creating governance mechanisms that address ownership, privacy, security, transparency and accountability issues, and establishes auditing policies and rules.

  1. Based on and “A Blueprint for Digital Identity: The Role of Financial Institutions in Building Digital Identity.” Presentation, World Economic Forum, 2016. 

  2. National Institute of Standards and Technology, US Department of Commerce.