Strengthening Trust & Identity in Blockchain Technology

Today, we are announcing our becoming a member of The Linux Foundation and a contributor to the open source project, Hyperledger. According to The Linux Foundation, “Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.”

At DigiCert, we are always focused on bringing innovative approaches to technology in a way that places our customers at the forefront of best practices and advances the security community. Our joining The Linux Foundation meets these key objectives and allows us to share the considerable knowledge that we’ve gained as the world’s leader in validating identities and authenticating users to strengthen the fabric of blockchain technologies. In the end, we will bring PKI technologies and processes to contribute to open source code for Hyperledger as we also seek to build a Blockchain-as-a-Service offering.

DigiCert values being a part of the larger security and technology community. Through our involvement with The Linux Foundation, we plan to share what we learn from our work on the Hyperledger and contribute to the project. Our intention is, in part, to advance understanding about the role that PKI can play in hardening the security of Blockchain-based technologies by giving stronger bindings to identity assertions and authenticating the participating bodies. We also plan to participate in Hyperledger’s various steering committees and working groups to advance better identity for permissioned blockchain platforms.

Blockchain technology as a distributed system could be categorized as follows:

  • Public platforms, such as Bitcoin, where anyone can become a participant
  • Private platforms, such as Hyperledger Fabric, where it is a closed ecosystem and designed for enterprise applications
  • Hybrid blockchain platforms, where they offer the benefit of both public and private blockchain, such as Ripple

Transparency, auditability, and traceability are core values of any blockchain implementation. Despite many advancements in public, private, and hybrid blockchain platforms, with safeguards such as consensus protocols, currently, no platform has a concrete solution for validating the identity of participating entities. This leaves blockchain technologies vulnerable to workarounds that allow bad actors to append fake data. These actors may imitate others to gain the trust of blockchain participants and steal their private information. Strong assertions of identity, while preserving privacy, are critical for blockchain to succeed.

At DigiCert, we are aiming to solve this problem. As an example, we are committed to bring the capabilities of PKI technology to Hyperledger Fabric and similar platforms while maintaining the core blockchain values of transparency, auditability, and traceability.  We believe a properly implemented and integrated PKI solution is complementary to any blockchain platform where it can assist with developing a better trust model for use within a distributed system.

For more information, read the press release from The Linux Foundation.