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MicroStrategy to build a Bitcoin-based decentralized identity platform

MicroStrategy has announced plans to launch a decentralized identity solution on the Bitcoin (BTC) network that stores and retrieves information using Ordinal-based inscriptions. 

MicroStrategy executive chairman Michael Saylor announced the solution, named ‘MicroStrategy Orange,’ at the company’s Bitcoin For Corporations conference on May 1.

Saylor explained that the solution’s purpose is to provide trustless, tamper-proof, and durable decentralized identities by solely utilizing the public Bitcoin blockchain.

“[Its aim is to] deliver trustless, tamper-proof, and long-lived decentralized identities using only the public Bitcoin blockchain as a data source,” according to an unauthorized draft of the solution released by MicroStrategy on GitHub. 

Decentralized identifiers (DIDs) will enable pseudonymity in the same way that real-world identities are not linked with Bitcoin addresses and transactions. 

MicroStrategy Orange is comprised of several components: Orange Service, Orange SDK, and Orange Applications.

Orange Service enables users to issue DIDs to their personnel and deploy applications. Meanwhile, the Orange SDK and Orange Applications provide the necessary tools for customization and integration on various devices.

MicroStrategy has already developed an application called “Orange For Outlook,” which incorporates digital signatures into emails so that receivers may authenticate the sender’s actual identity. 

Accepting an invitation email signed by MicroStrategy’s DID initiates the onboarding process, which generates a unique DID as well as a public and private key pair for each user. 

The user’s DID and public key are stored on the Bitcoin network, and they can then begin inviting their personnel to create their own digital identities. 

Looking ahead, MicroStrategy aims to extend the capabilities of its Orange applications across other messaging platforms, social media networks, and various applications in the e-commerce, enterprise, and fintech sectors.

Previous BTC-based identity solutions

Microstrategy is not the first company to investigate Bitcoin as a potential identity solution. In 2016, the BitID project was launched to simplify identity verification for online platforms, ensuring user privacy. However, this project is no longer active.

Furthermore, ION (Identity Overlay Network) is an autonomous identity system that operates on a Sidetree-based DID network and incorporates the Bitcoin blockchain and IPFS. 

Other blockchain networks, such as Worldcoin, use similar tactics to construct a global digital identity and financial network.

Ecuador’s Sistema de Dinero Electrónico is also notable. Ecuador introduced a digital currency linked to a government-issued digital ID system, allowing citizens to access and use the currency using their ID. Ecuador’s initiative was finally phased out after facing criticism from state banks. 

MicroStrategy’s announcement comes shortly after the company reported a net loss of $53.1 million for the first quarter on April 30.

Notably, the figure does not account for the significant increase in the market value of their Bitcoin holdings. The company currently holds 214,400 Bitcoin, which appreciated by 65% over the quarter, valued at $15.2 billion at that time.

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