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What’s the Deal With Coinbase’s Decentralized Identity Project?

Distributed Summary:

  • The exchange giant acquired a development team to focus on decentralizing the digital identity of its users across its products
  • Could make leveraging Coinbase’s various DApps easier and more secure
  • Company also attempted to file a trademark for the new crypto ethos “BUIDL”

According to a recent report from CoinDesk, the cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase is trying to make serious headway into the field of decentralized identity platforms for its users. The plan appears to be based around the DApps currently running on Coinbase.

Coinbase recently acquired a team of developers to specialize in decentralized digital identity, potentially giving its users more control over their personal information. One of the members of this team, B Byrne, is now project manager of this division at Coinbase and offered a few comments about its overall direction. He noted that a first step will be determining the Coinbase users who would really value having their personal data stored in a decentralized way and leveraged across Coinbase’s offerings, rather than having to enter their information across each product.

From there, the plan is to inaugurate these users into the decentralized identity team’s program and then expand it to more users.

“We think it’s an important part of our future and we’re thinking about the tools we need to ship for that,” Byrne told CoinDesk, as many users who could benefit from this decentralized identity protocol “aren’t getting access to things because it’s too hard as is.”

The goal for the project is to have mostly decentralized identity solutions in very specific, niche use cases, preferably in fields that are as regulator-friendly as possible.

“We want to protect users and make sure it’s really safe,” Byrne clarified, adding, “I spend time thinking about the Social Security Administration or the [Department of Motor Vehicles], because they are the purveyors of so much identity today.”

In other Coinbase news, the company recently made splashes when it attempted to file a trademark on the term “BUIDL,” a recent rallying cry for the crypto industry as it focuses on building solutions while cryptocurrency prices continue to fall. This ethos suggests that it is no longer sufficient for Bitcoin enthusiasts to “HODL” their crypto assets and wait for value to appreciate, but instead that the demands of the space require more active engagement.

Acquiring entire new teams and planning long and moderately obfuscated experimental trials are certainly one thing in the space, but this attempt to trademark a term that stands for active development in the crypto space leads to speculation as to what Coinbase’s long-term plans are.

Regardless of what Coinbase’s DApp ecosystem will look like in a year’s time, it seems clear that the company is putting ambitious plans into motion at the present.

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