Identities anchored on blockchains are inherently safer than identities stored on centralized servers. By using the cryptographically secure Ethereum blockchain, in combination with distributed data storage systems like InterPlanetary FileSystem (IPFS) or OrbitDB, it’s possible to disintermediate existing centralized data storage systems while still maintaining trust and data integrity.
Decentralized storage solutions, which are tamper-proof by design, reduce an entity’s ability to gain unauthorized data access in order to exploit or monetize an individual’s confidential information.
Decentralized storage is one of the core components of secure identity data management. In a decentralized framework, credentials are usually stored directly on the user’s device (e.g., smartphone, laptop) or securely held by private identity stores.
Such private identity stores are referred to as identity hubs such as uPort’s TrustGraph or 3Box. When solely under the control of the user, identities are considered self-sovereign. This, in turn, means the user can both fully control access to the data without having to worry about access being revoked. Data under the user’s control makes the information more interoperable, allowing the user to employ data on multiple platforms, use the information for different purposes, and protect the user from being locked into one platform.