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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitez/

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitez/

One of the bitcoin’s greatest innovations is cryptographically provable ownership. It’s one of the core building blocks of the blockchain, and arguably one of the most powerful security features ever devised. If BitID’s new authentication protocol works as promised, it could also become a game-changing method for account verifications.

Currently, users are able to share authentication via options like “Connect with Facebook” or “Connect with Twitter.” These methods use shared authentication data to verify account information, saving users the hassle of creating new accounts for every online service they use. Those accounts still rely on centralized, privately owned systems with access to a great deal of private user information. BitID’s plan is to use bitcoin to completely decentralize this process, allowing users to verify their accounts via wallet-connected private keys.

Developed by La Maison du Bitcoin co-founder Eric Larchevêque, the system uses the same private/public key system for account verification. Larchevêque says that real-world, offline applications could involve a smartphone-based system allowing access to buildings, lockboxes or hotel services. Although these accounts would not need to have active BTC balances, one variation on the concept would use active wallets to simplify the e-commerce system. Instead of linking user shopping carts to credit cards or bank details, a BitID-based system could provide both proof of identity and authorize the transaction.

Speaking with CoinDesk, Larchevêque claims that BitID would improve the efficiency of online retail by removing several steps from the process. “You do not need to create an account, so it’s less clicks and more conversions. And in the end, it’s more money for the e-commerce site.”

Although there are many technical details to be worked out, the concept is promising for a range of real-world and online applications. In effect, any online retailer could have the ease of Amazon’s One-Click system through the BitID protocol.

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