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WISeKey Combines Interoperable Centrally-Managed PKI with Blockchain-Rooted Trust

In 2020, WISeKey joined Hyperledger, a multi-venture, multi-stakeholder effort hosted by the Linux Foundation. Hyperledger is an open-source community focused on developing a suite of stable frameworks, tools, and libraries for enterprise-grade blockchain deployment.

WISeKey, a leading cybersecurity IoT, blockchain company, announced that it has reinforced its architecture with a decentralized trust, offering security at least as strong as existing blockchain-based naming systems, yet without sacrificing the flexibility and performance typically found in centralized Public Key Infrastructures (PKIs).

This dual Trust Model solves one of the biggest challenges for the internet, which is to bridge the currently fragmented trust domains including existing, incompatible national Root of Trusts (RoTs) used by many governments. By combining RoT with blockchain, our innovative Trust Protocol enables a wide range of use cases and business models that simply are not possible by using just current blockchain-based solutions.  This integration is being deployed with clients operating in sectors such as: secure sharing of medical data, music royalties tracking, cross-border payments, real-time IoT operating systems, personal identity security, anti-money laundering tracking system, supply chain and logistics monitoring, voting mechanism, advertising insights, original content creation, cryptocurrency exchange, real estate processing platform, among others.

The combination of RoT with blockchain generates a new Trust Protocol by allowing blockchain to scale trusted transactions with embedded security, ensuring that each transaction submitted to the blockchain is digitally signed using keys that are trusted by the RoT and combining a vertical trust process verified by a reputable Third Trusted Party with the inherent decentralized trust provided by the blockchain.

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One concrete application of this new Trust Protocol is WISeID Trusted Distributed Ledger Technology of Identity which provides a secure way to store the identity of objects and people and offers connected objects the ability to identify, authenticate and verify each other with a digital certificate. During each interaction, the Blockchain of Identity verifies and validates each digital certificate to secure the interaction.

WISeKey’s blockchain-based solutions aim to override the need for a central authority by distributing information previously held in a centralized repository across a network of participating nodes. While blockchain is not owned by one individual or organization, anyone with an internet connection (and access, in the case of private blockchains) can make use of it, help maintain and verify it. When a transaction is made on a blockchain, it is added to a group of transactions, known as “blocks.” Each block of transactions is added to the database in a chronological, immutable chain. Each block is stamped with a unique cryptographic code, which ensures that records are not counterfeited or changed. The blockchain approach lacks legal validity in most jurisdictions, which only recognize the digital signatures as equally valid that manuscript signatures when generated using traditional PKI technology.

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A user-controlled digital identity typically starts with a number, unique to an individual, that is associated with a public key for which the user has the private key issued by the OISTE/WISeKey Crypto Graphic RootKey. The WISeID Network is a most deployed standard for digital identity operating since 1998 by a non-profit organization – OISTE.ORG – designed to bring the neutrality, trust, consent, personal control, and ease-of-use of Digital IDs to the internet.

RoT is a source that can always be trusted within a cryptographic system. A principal example is a Trusted Certification Authority (CA) which generates digital certificates that can be used for legally binding signed electronic transactions. The traditional PKI does not fit well with the heterogeneous blockchain distributed trust model that leverages the existing trust domains and bridges them to create end-to-end trust between them without relying on any common RoT.

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