MasterCard have recently published a patent document and it looks like the payments service provider is looking to blockchain for a bodyguard for identity data.
Last Thursday, the US Patent and Trademark Office released an application whereby MasterCard outlined a structure in which a form of blockchain (either private or semi-private) will be used to collect data from individuals and store them securely. According to the application, the individual’s attributes might include “name, street address, tax identification number, registration number, e-mail address, country code, date of birth” and others.
In the description of the filing, the company expresses the interest into blockchain technology and the “disclosure relates to the storage and verification and identity and credential data” with special use of distributed storage “for protection of identity and credential data and the verification thereof.”
The aim is that the system would create a file for each individual to be associated with a public key and “geographic jurisdiction.” The users would be secondary, while a “superior” entity would authorize the file with a digital signature. Following this, the technology would use a “hashing module of the processing server” which would then create the individual’s “identity value” which would be a block with a timestamp and trace added to the blockchain.
The system would work differently to a public blockchain, whereby the MasterCard network would only permit authorized nodes (computational powers) to submit and update any data. According to the application, this is in order to “prevent the addition of data that may compromise the accuracy of the data stored”. The company explains, “it may be difficult for an entity to disprove a false identity, leading to an interaction with an inauthentic individual or entity.”
If the use of blockchain technology can resolve any issues from false users, this is the company’s best step towards achieving it, expressing that there is “a need for a technical solution to provide for the immutable storage of identity and credential data that may prevent fabrication and inaccuracies.”