OneName is a blockchain based ID service that I had high hopes for creating a truly universal and decentralised online ID system. I first set up a profile a year or two ago which you can find here: Daniel McClure’s Blockchain ID. Originally it began on the Namecoin blockchain which was designed as an alternate DNS system and identity blockchain, however eventually they ported over to Bitcoin for their own schema on a blockchain with superior network effects stating “we strongly believe that decentralised applications and services need to be on the largest, most secure blockchain”.
Why Have a Blockchain ID in the first place?
Whilst you navigate around the web, all to often you will need to verify your identity or create a login for various sites; Sometimes these sites use email as your identifier, and many times they will also offer social media logins so that they can access your data in exchange for using the service. Whilst this can be useful as you likely already have an email or social media login, in reality you are handing over power to your email provider or social media company as they are now the gatekeeper to all of these third party services and if they ever decide to restrict or charge for services or worse, ban you for some obscure rule they add (you read the 18 page terms and conditions right?).
With your own curated and fully decentralised blockchain ID no single party has the power to revoke your ID and invalidate your access to third party services, instead you hold the keys to manage the relationship between your data and third parties yourself, in a database that is verifiable and backed up around the globe.
On The Future of OneName…
Unfortunately since the transition I haven’t seen too many developments on the front end and it remains a basic ID system without wide integration, that can sometimes take up to an hour to update (based on Bitcoin Block confirmation times). In fact the most interesting development I’ve seen in the space is the decision to use OneName IDs as makeshift URLs on OpenBazaar (a decentralised online marketplace).
This year OneName announced they are merging into a bigger project called Blockstack Labs so there could be more to come, but until it starts seeing wider usage and integration this is one Blockchain solution that the jury is still out for. In the meantime, if you want to secure your Blockchain ID on OneName in case they take off, then you can register here.