Digital Identity Management with Hyperledger Projects

Published : Sep 14, 2020

  • Frameworks based on blockchain technology have emerged recently as possible solutions to the problems of adopting IAM strategies (Identity and Access Management) and managing credential authorization. They are now coming to the fore as attractive alternatives for big enterprises.

    One such solution is the Hyperledger blockchain development that provides many potential advantages to organizations seeking powerful IAM tools with granular control for user access and data privacy.

    Understanding Hyperledger

    Hyperledger is the Linux Foundation's open-source blockchain project that facilitates the advancement of blockchain technology and applications to address various problems throughout industries. The ecosystem that surrounds the project includes corporations, software developers, and academic institutions, and is open to joining more participants as it grows.

    Hyperledger projects consist of three categories: distributed ledgers, libraries, and tools. Distributed ledgers are among the most valuable for organizations that aim to leverage the power of blockchain technology.

    As per the Hyperledger website, Fabric enables easy plug-and-play distributed ledger development. It also offers enterprise-grade technology to protect the protection of identities as well as data. Blockchains using Hyperledger Fabric provides an inherently higher degree of security than permissioned ones can give. Another framework, Indy, enables secure, decentralized identity management, based on blockchain and other distributed ledgers.

    Hyperledger for Identity Management

    Hyperledger allows for identity and user management through organization networks. Lists of access controls add more granular permissions to enhance privacy and reduce the possibility of breaches. 

    IBM's Fabric Architecture serves as the basis for implementations focused on modular blockchains. It provides set up of multiple levels of permission set for various businesses, business partners, and individuals using the blockchain. As a result, it enables data protection from unauthorized parties while preserving transparency and open communication wherever appropriate.

    Introducing Indy

    The Indy system facilitates decentralized control of identity. Indy helps participants to retain possession and control of identifying data as a mechanism aiming to uphold self-sovereign identification. Identity owners decide who sees what transaction-related information, which guards against identity theft possibility. Decentralization increases security by removing the need for a central database of identities.

    Also, Read | Empowering Decentralized Identity Management with Hyperledger Indy

    Combining Indy and Fabric

    With Fabric and Indy, businesses can build authorized blockchains in which they issue certificates for users and set certification criteria. Users maintain control about what verifiers see, and verifiers decide which model of confidence to use to determine whether the credentials provided are appropriate as identity evidence. Zero-knowledge proof improves confidentiality by enabling authentication while concealing information that is identifying.

    Managing user identities and access permissions with Hyperledger help organizations to preserve user confidentiality when different groups need access to the same permitted network. It addresses some of IAM's most important issues, including network vulnerability resulting from internal threats or vulnerabilities in third-party protection.

    Also, Read | Establishing Digital Self-Sovereign Identity System with Hyperledger Indy

    Advantages of Hyperledger for Identity Management 

    Hyperledger systems provide both internal and external users with opportunities for identity management, as well as a seamless interface.

    Achieving Efficiency

    It can improve efficiency by relying on the blockchain for identity management, user authentication, and access authorization. Around 30 percent and 40% of customer service calls are in some way related to authentication problems. Having one identity that provides access to all the applications and data needed minimizes uncertainty and frustration. It helps business processes to proceed unchanged while lightening a burden on customer service and IT departments.

    Interoperable Systems

    Self-sovereign identities migrate with their owners. So it is possible to use the authentication of information stored in the blockchain through devices, networks, and administrative domains. Such interoperability allows for data sharing between undertakings and associates or partners of third parties. Instead of several different sets of passwords, being able to receive authorization and access using a single identity eliminates the silos and makes network access more versatile.

    Enhanced Privacy

    Hyperledger provides networks and private transactions to tackle data protection and privacy problems associated with third-party access. Channels allow two or more members of the blockchain to conduct transactions confidentially, for example, to close crucial deals in the case of price negotiations.

    Where additional privacy is required, especially in cases involving sensitive data subject to strict enforcement regulations, a private transaction can come in use by two members of the blockchain. Hyperledger rules make it impossible for third parties to ascertain the identity of the persons involved and also prohibits unauthorized people from knowing about data transfer location. 

    Also, Read | Blockchain Digital Identity Management | Empowering Individual Data Ownership

    Case Studies | Hyperledger for Identity Management

    Sovrin Network

    Independent Stewards run the Sovrin Network. It leverages the idea of a distributed ledger to enable individuals, organizations, and objects to possess and manage their own permanent digital identity. Given the recent developments in digital identity standards, Sovrin is providing identity holders with a stable and private network to acquire, manage, and distribute their verifiable digital credentials.

    The Sovrin Foundation regulates the Sovrin Network. It is a non-profit organization liable to manage the governance structure for this autonomous, open-source, public network laying the foundation for self-sovereign Internet identity.

    Known Traveller Digital Identity

    Known Traveller Digital Identity, or KTDI, is an initiative of the World Economic Forum with Accenture. The initiative comprises a global consortium of individuals, authorities, and the travel industry to strengthen world travel security. It leverages cryptography, blockchain technology, and biometrics to facilitate cross-border travel without displaying physical documents. It speeds up passenger traffic through airports, enhances passenger comfort, and allows authorities to concentrate scarce resources on security improvements.

    QDX™ HealthID platform 

    It is a platform by Quantum Materials Corp that leverages self-sovereign identity technology to provide end-to-end visibility to support infectious disease testing and immunization, including COVID-19, at scale. It allows for several methods of authenticating the individuals, those that administer the test, as well as the test kits themselves, whether to detect the presence of the virus itself or relevant antibodies.

    The QDXTM HealthID platform uses Hyperledger Sawtooth as the distributed ledger technology. It uses the Sextant framework for Sawtooth from Blockchain Technology Partner. Additionally, the platform is ready for integration through DAML, the smart contract language opened by Hyperledger member, Digital Asset, with other distributed ledger applications.

    Also, Read | Trust No One: Creating a Blockchain-Based Identity Management System

    Challenges with Implementing Hyperledger-based IAM Solution 

    Like the blockchain itself, Hyperledger for IAM and cybersecurity are still new participants. Enterprises may make a move cautiously, especially those beginning to embrace cloud technologies or relying on legacy systems.

    For enterprise IT teams with little knowledge of blockchain, the inherent difficulty of Hyperledger development poses an adoption barrier. If the people who handle IAM do not understand the advantages of blockchain for identity management, implementing a new system is unlikely to be of interest to them.


    With support from accredited blockchain development service providers, businesses interested in using Hyperledger technology may do so. The Hyperledger certification program "is a pre-qualified tier of certified service providers with extensive experience. It enables companies to implement Hyperledger successfully," so businesses can be confident that each partner has the expertise and skills.

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