Mastercard Joins Accenture’s ID2020 Blockchain Alliance ByJimmy AkiPRO INVESTOR Last Updated: 24 May 2020 Global payment processor Mastercard has dabbled into yet another blockchain-based project, continuing in its mission to integrate the technology. Last week, the firm announced that it would be joining the ID2020 Alliance, a digital identity solutions project geared towards ensuring safety on the Internet. Digital Identity as a Basic Human Right The ID2020 Alliance was established by several institutions, most notably Accenture, Microsoft, Gavi, the Rockefeller Foundation, and IDEO. The service already has an impressive catalog of partners, including NGOs, private companies, and several agencies from the United Nations. The alliance has already launched several pilot programs, and it recently helped the Bangladeshi government launch a digital identity program for vaccinations. In its announcement, Mastercard explained that the world had seen a rapid growth of digital dependency – a trend which the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated. With more people performing transactions and operations via the Internet, digital identity as a fundamental human right is even more critical. Mastercard Cyber & Intelligence President Ajay Bhalla explained that the firm has come to understand the significance of digital identity at this time. They also recognize the role that the concept has to play in building a world where technology empowers and protects us all. “We must work together to establish consistency and common standards across the globe that can make this a reality, addressing real challenges faced by people every day and sparking continued innovation,” he added. ID2020 Executive Director Dakota Gruener also acknowledged the role of tech and finance firms in harnessing digital identity’s full power for economic and social benefits. Mastercard’s Blockchain Journey Takes Another Lap The ID2020 Alliance is the latest in Mastercard’s blockchain-based data-driven initiatives. Earlier this month, the service joined the ToIP Foundation – a cross-industry data trust project from the Linux Foundation that aims to provide a trusted exchange of data across the Internet. The service was birthed on May 5, and in an announcement, the Linux Foundation confirmed that it had garnered support from various companies, governments, and non-profits across industries like finance, enterprise software, and healthcare. Apart from Linux and Mastercard, Accenture, the Province of British Columbia, and IBM Security also serve as founding members. At the same time, contributing members include the University of Arkansas, blockchain consortium R3, and online lending platform Kiva. Digital identity has grown to be one of the most important aspects of online life. Apart from the increase in online transactions, more people and companies are starting to dwell on the online space for more purposes. Blockchain has proven to be a useful tool in ensuring adequate identity security thanks in no small part to its decentralized nature. However, several institutions across the world are still exploring their potential and possible applications in the future. Of course, digital identity is just one of the many applications where blockchain is useful. The technology continues to be one of the most revolutionary concepts of the 21st century, with influence over a growing number of human endeavors.