SoftBank Eyes Blockchain to Solve Issues With Online Authentication

Japanese telco SoftBank is exploring blockchain tech as a way to improve upon current centralized and fragmented ID and authentication services.

AccessTimeIconFeb 26, 2019 at 9:05 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:55 a.m. UTC

Japanese telecom SoftBank is exploring blockchain tech as a way to improve upon current centralized and fragmented ID and authentication services.

The firm announced Tuesday that it has partnered with U.S.-based blockchain startup TBCASoft for the initiative and has created a working group within an existing blockchain consortium of telecom carriers, the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG).

SoftBank aims to utilize TBCASoft's application framework, the Cross-Carrier Identification System (CCIS), to enable blockchain-based identification and authentication services.

TBCASoft's CCIS system uses zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) cryptography and distributed ledger technology (DLT) that enables the issuing, storing and authentication of users’ identification in a private and secure way, SoftBank said.

The effort aims to address the problems that users of current identification and verification services need to place trust in a centralized organization, and must disclose their personal data to multiple entities which is stored on different internet databases.

The CCIS system can give users “freedom from creating multiple accounts and remembering countless passwords to protect their personal information from identity theft,” the company said.

SoftBank vice president Takeshi Fukuizumi explained:

"We envision that individuals should create encrypted digital identities, instead of using and storing multiple usernames and passwords on databases here and there with various qualities of privacy protection. We have been working with TBCASoft on solving identification and authentication problems, and have an answer with CCIS."

TBCASoft and SoftBank are also looking to collaborate with other telecom operators under the CBSG consortium for the initiative.

The CBSG consortium was launched back in September 2017, with other major operators including U.S.-based carrier Sprint and one of Taiwan’s largest telecom operators FarEasTone. The consortium has already successfully tested blockchain systems for mobile payments and topping up prepaid phones across different carriers using TBCASoft's platform.

Similarly, SoftBank and TBCASoft previously worked with with Nasdaq-listed Synchronoss Technologies to complete a blockchain proof-of-concept that allows peer-to-peer mobile payments across different carriers.

SoftBank store image via Shutterstock 


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.