Distributed technologies

Trend 12: Decentralized identity management to enable better privacy and security

Traditionally, personal identity information is managed by centralized organizations that could be public authorities or large private corporations. Third parties can authenticate the identity of individuals by verifying these credentials with the issuer. This centralized approach leads to privacy risks and makes these organizations potential targets for cyberattacks and identity theft.

Decentralized identity management solutions use DLT to address privacy and security issues. It follows the self-sovereign identity model, where individuals are the custodians of their identity information with full control over how their data is accessed and used. This is implemented using encrypted and verifiable digital identity credentials that the issuer directly sends to individual's identity wallet. The individual can present these credentials to others, who can then verify them on the DLT without contacting the issuer. The credentials themselves are not stored on the blockchain and they cannot be forged, duplicated, or reused. Using zero-knowledge proofs, selective disclosure is also possible. Individuals can share only a subset of attributes from their identity credentials, thus providing only the minimum necessary information to others.

DLT frameworks such as Hyperledger Indy and Aries have been custom-built for supporting decentralized identity management solutions. Soon, it would be possible to provide decentralized credentials to everyone and integrate them into enterprise workflows for user authentication and authorization. Through decentralized identity management, organizations can mitigate privacy risks and comply with personal data protection laws enacted across several jurisdictions.

A U.S. state regulator was facing difficulty due to the manual process of issuing business licenses, which was inefficient and time consuming. Infosys helped the government entity implement a DLT solution to issue and verify licenses. The system uses decentralized identity management, and has streamlined the licensing process and simultaneously strengthened citizen privacy and data security.

Distributed technologies

Trend 13: Interoperable DLT networks to create portable, end-to-end decentralized applications

Currently, most DLT platforms and networks are not compatible with each other. This makes it difficult to develop portable solutions that can span across multiple networks while maintaining trust and security guarantees associated with DLT. For enterprises working with DLTs, it creates platform/vendor lock-in and requires them to maintain multiple versions of the same application.

Bridging solutions (called blockchain bridges) partly solve the problem. These can transfer data from one DLT network to another along with proof of correctness. For the transfer of value, crypto tokens are used, then they are locked or burned in the source network, and then an equivalent number of tokens are minted in the destination network. They, however, do not address application portability or provide any means of direct interaction between applications deployed on different DLT networks.

At various maturity stages, other solutions provide frameworks and tools to address limitations. The digital asset modeling language is a smart contract language and development platform that enables to develop portable applications that can run on top of many available DLT platforms and databases. It also provides for cross-platform application deployment. Similarly, Hyperledger Cactus is developing the tooling designed to securely integrate different DLTs and making them interoperable.

A connectivity solutions provider partnered with Infosys to create a DLT-based solution for reconciling billing records. The solution uses a blockchain abstraction layer to make it work across different DLTs in a unified and consistent manner. This enables communication service providers who use the solution on one DLT platform to seamlessly reconcile their billing records with other providers using other DLT platforms.