Power To The People: How Blockchain Based Digital Identity Can Empower Disadvantaged Individuals

Abstract

Blockchain technology is thrown around as a fix for many logistical issues, including how societies keeps track of identity. 1.1 billion people currently lack any form of identity, and billions of people with identity find their personal data out of their control. Billions suffer when physical forms of identity are taken, destroyed, misplaced, or forged. The Equifax and Facebook- Cambridge Analytica hacks demonstrate the severe impacts of identity and data mismanagement. The European Migration Crisis exemplifies the drawbacks of immigration systems when physical identity forms are missing and the strenuous process of determining backgrounds and identity. This thesis evaluates blockchain technology as a solution to the identity crisis. The thesis analyzes the specifics of the technology to see if it can function as an identity management system. It will then assess the viability of blockchain based digital identity projects. The paper will then apply the technology in hypothetical use cases and determine how blockchain architecture can empower individuals to reclaim control of their identity, especially in refugee and trafficking crises.

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