Mastercard to Fight Fake Identities Using Blockchain
In a newly published patent filed by Mastercard, the payments giant eyes blockchain to be the technology which can successfully safeguard identity data.
An application released on Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Mastercard talks of a system which uses semi-private or private blockchains to receive and securely store identity data. This data could have fragments such as names, tax identification numbers, street addresses, and a wide array of different information.
In the filing, originally submitted back in September 2017, the company states that the blockchain technology could help in blocking the use of fake data for identification within the company’s systems. In the patent, Mastercard writes:
“The use of a blockchain for the storage of identity and credential data may provide for an immutable storage of such data that can provide an accurate verification thereof and also prevent the fabrication of such data”
In the filing, Mastercard explains that the system would generate “data files” for every entity which would then be associated with their own public keys and “geographic jurisdictions”. The entities would act as “subordinates” with a “superior” entity imposing digital signatures on the data files. Subsequently, a “hashing module of the processing server” would generate an “identity value” for every entity and would create blocks with timestamps and records of recent blocks added to the blockchain.
Unlike public blockchains, Mastercard’s proposed network would allow a certain number of nodes to put data on the blockchain. These nodes would “prevent the addition of data that may compromise the accuracy of the data stored therein.”
Mastercard isn’t just working on intellectual property plays but is also beefing up its blockchain team. The company has recently hired 175 new developers, including blockchain specialists, for working in their Ireland office.