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Future is Digital identity, said U.S. Representative Bill Foster

The technology could take the keys to identity theft protection.


Addressing at the online launch event for the Global Digital Asset & Crypto Association on Friday - a Chicago-based organization centered on regulatory clarity and industry security - U.S. Representative Bill Foster described the value of a "secure digital identity."


Bill Foster

"You can have the most rock-solid cryptographic guarantees of a blockchain or equivalent, and it doesn't do you any good if people are fraudulently participating in it under anonymous names," Foster stated during his short speech at the event. He considered trading as an example, recording some less-than-honest roles in the industry could conduct unauthorized trading activities using fraudulent names.


A blockchain programmer and Harvard graduate himself, Foster understands the potential of such technology. Foster also sits as co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, a governmental group working on blockchain regulation. According to his conversation, Foster started his college journey many years early - when he was 15 - later growing a physicist and then a politician.


Foster considered the significance of third-party anonymity, which typically involves a public-facing secret identity. The sign that pertinent details back such an identity can be unveiled as needed when brought to a court.


"This, I think, is a fundamental requirement, I believe, of digital contracts or almost all of the use cases that are talked about for this," he stated. Foster explained the transition starts by offering people a trackable system for uniquely and securely knowing themselves, also adding that the blockchain and tech space previously holds the components necessary for establishing such a system together.


He added:

"The missing point, and the necessary government role, is that once in your life when you go in to get your real I.D. card or your passport or something, that you have to be authenticated as a legally traceable unique person, and then you have to be biometrically deduped to make sure that you're not getting another passport in another country under another identity."

This kind of system, though, needs international collaboration. "This needs a group of nations to get mutually to set up this advanced I.D. ecosystem, and this is wherever we have to go," Foster stated. Such a framework would consequently lead to other future possible use cases.


In tandem with Foster's thought method, two fellow Blockchain Caucus members, U.S. Representatives David Schweikert and Darren Soto, recently introduced a new bill to make blockchain-based digital signatures lawfully binding.


Such a digital identity system also arrives with drawbacks; however, such as improved government tracking of residents, further infringing on privacy - an aspect the crypto space often touts as necessary.


Foster's remarks come through the launch event for the Global Digital Asset & Crypto Association - a multiyear endeavor originating from an opening March 2019 meeting. 


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