Microsoft and Accenture are partnering on a blockchain-powered digital-identification prototype as part of a public-private initiative that seeks to bring identity services to the 1.1 billion people around the world who lack any form of ID.

Global entrant
The digital-ID prototype developed by Microsoft and Accenture runs on Microsoft's Azure cloud system. Bloomberg News

The prototype — which uses Accenture’s capabilities in blockchain and large-scale biometric systems and runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud system — was unveiled Monday at the ID2020 Summit at the United Nations building in New York.

The prototype does not store any personally identifiable information, instead tapping into existing “off-chain” systems when individual users grant access, the companies said.

Banks have become deeply involved in digital-identity efforts. USAA, BBVA Compass, Capital One Financial, Deutsche Bank and other financial institutions have launched digital-identity projects.

“People without a documented identity suffer by being excluded from modern society,” David Treat, a managing director in Accenture’s global blockchain business, said in a news release. “Our prototype is personal, private and portable, empowering individuals to access and share appropriate information when convenient and without the worry of using or losing paper documentation.”