The Application of Digital Identity in the United States

In this draft paper by graduate researchers Keith Duffy, Pasha Goudovitch, and Pavel Fedorov, the authors explore the potential for blockchain technology to improve digital identity in the United States.


Identity theft affected nearly 18 million people in the United States in 2014[1] and resulted in billions of dollars of financial losses and other hardships for individuals, the government and businesses. With the increased prevalence of online financial transactions and other business interactions, there has not been a corresponding widespread adoption of a universally trusted and robust authentication mechanism online. We propose for the United States to adopt an Identity Management System (“IMS”) similar to that of Estonia and Kazakhstan in order to combat the increasing occurrence of identity theft and to foster a higher level of online security.