Microsoft ION -Decentralized Identity

Rangesh Sripathi
1 min readAug 30, 2020

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What is Microsoft ION ?

Identity Overlay Network that runs on top of Bitcoin network (layer 2) to provide Decentralized Identity .

Microsoft Identity Overlay Network(ION) :

  • ION runs on Layer 2 — Bitcoin network using Sidetree Protocol
  • ION is a public , permissionless Decentralized Identifier network
  • ION meets the standard of SSI and it’s in convention with DIF -https://identity.foundation/

A side note , Its not a cryptocurrency or related to any of token but uses ledger to create DID.

Current State of ION & ION Implementation with Azure Active Directory :

While ION is in experiment state and is not available for everyone, Microsoft has implemented a version with Active Directory. I have requested for private preview to get my hands-on , will come up with an article once I receive private preview.

What is it required to implement ION with Azure Active Directory ?

  1. Active tenant -AD
  2. Azure Key Vault
  3. Private preview request for tenant to carry out Verifiable credentials process.

You also need Microsoft Authenticator app as a wallet to store Credentials.

Sample/ Example of ION usage with AD :

https://github.com/Azure-Samples/active-directory-verifiable-credentials

The above sample provides clear definition how to issue verifiable credentials and verify the same , I have not received my private preview , so could not test it out.

Open Question :

a) ION is open public network running on Bitcoin- Who is custodian/payer of transactions fees in Bitcoin network.

b) Will ION network be customizable enough from wallet to storage and creating private network .

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