Coinbase has acquired Distributed Systems, a San Francisco-based digital identity startup, the company announced Wednesday. Distributed Systems has already been working on “decentralized identity solutions,” Coinbase Identity project manager B Byrne wrote in a blog post. The startup’s five-person team will join a unit within Coinbase that is dedicated to developing digital identity solutions. Blockchain can help individuals maintain complete control over their digital identities, ensuring that their personal information remains safe, Byrne said. He went on to write that this could apply to Social Security Numbers for Americans by adding protections for users, as an example. Byrne argued: “Every time you want to prove who you are with your SSN, you need to give away a copy of it. That copy has exactly the same power as the original, so when there’s a data breach with copies of your data it puts your identity at risk. A
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