The Growing Importance of the Digital Wallet

The Internet Identity Workshop has been finding, probing and solving identity issues twice every year since 2005. The 27th Internet Identity Workshop will take place at the Computer History Museum from October 22 -25, 2018. The core themes are: identity, privacy, and customer empowerment. IIW brings together the largest concentration on the planet of talent individuals dedicated to designing and building identity systems that empower individuals to discuss and share the real-time pulse of genuinely disruptive technologies that are the foundation of today’s important internet movements. IIW was started to discuss what was then called “user-centric identity”, and the recent interest in self-sovereign identity, blockchain-based identity, and related systems has pushed that conversation to a new level.

One subject which will be covered during this event is the growing importance of the digital wallet – Wikipedia defines it as follows: A digital wallet refers to an electronic device or online service that allows an individual to make electronic transactions. Ken Fromm 3x Tech co-founder said, “The digital wallet will serve as the gateway to all interactions within the blockchain. It will do so for every action — not just for storing or trading cryptocurrency. It will also provide access for managing and trading traditional financial assets whether they be in the tradition form of cash in a savings account, stocks, bonds, warrants, options, as well as other financial instruments currently traded on exchanges or exchanged bank account to bank account.”

Going further, the digital wallet will provide access for managing and trading non-financial assets as well. These include assets that exist completely in digital form as well as physical assets that have a representational ID in existing in blockchain-ready format. They will hold and manage access to important data that is at the center of personal and business interactions. Some of this data might be related to a form of ID such as passports, driver’s licenses, social security numbers, and voting registration. Other data might relate to policies and agreements including insurance policies such as health, home, auto,and life, cable and utility agreements, and auto and home purchases and mortgages.

Digital wallets may soon even control and manage on your behalf all the data that you currently upload and create on websites of today — the social network you created on LinkedIn and Facebook,the emails you store on Gmail, the purchases you’ve made at Amazon, the photos you’ve uploaded to Snapchat and Instagram.

If the online world moves from a centralized world to one that is decentralized, then digital wallets will manage and maintain all the data that currently is connected to you but resides in centralized repositories owned by third parties. In a decentralized world, you will have title to this information and can bring it with you. You will use the wallet to provide access to your preference and in return, receive a personalized experience. This attention and preference data will not be locked in silos for use by a single vendor or corporate entity but instead be usable by you for your benefit. With power, though, comes danger — all issues that wallets will inevitably work to help address, much as browsers help address unsafe websites.

To learn more about the digital wallet and stay updated on tech news, become a member of IBO, sign up for our newsletter or ask to join our next webinar on digital wallets.

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