Coinbase to Pursue Decentralized Form of Identification Following Acquisition

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Cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service Coinbase has acquired San Francisco-based startup Distributed Systems Inc., which works on decentralized identity solutions, according to an August 15 announcement.

In the blog post, B Byrne, project manager for Identity at Coinbase, said Distributed Systems will help the exchange work on new ways to validate and verify identity within its plans to develop an open financial system. The blog post says:

Blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies offers a new way to let us all be “verified” everywhere we go on the internet, feeling safer about our interactions with others and opening the door to the experiences that require trust.”

In the blog post, Byrne describes a type of identity wherein users retain control over their private information, without having to give a copy away. Citing the example of a Social Security Number, Byrne says that every time one is asked to provide it, the recipient now has