As it turns out, the U.S. government has more than a passing interest in blockchain technology. According to a patent filing titled “Methods and Systems For A Digital Trust Architecture,” which was published on March 22, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is looking to leverage the blockchain in order to build a more secure and efficient identification system.
The filing states, “as more of life’s daily interactions move to online activities, it is apparent that the tools that provide trust to the users are lacking in their ability to adequately provide a desired level of security. Tools that have evolved from physical interactions, like face-to-face communication, and the ability to “go there” to resolve issues, are not possible in a digital environment.”
In providing a solution to the security and trust issues that plague USPS users, the agency believes that provisioning a secure digital infrastructure will provide a more secure messaging and authentication service. The filing references the use of email as a form of digital signature but recognizes the security limitations of these centralized platforms. Thus, they propose a system that leverages the blockchain, public and private identification keys, and email messaging integrated into decentralized systems.
In some aspects, methods and systems for a digital trust architecture are provided. In some aspects, the architecture includes a user account provisioning process. The provisioning process may make use of in person verifications of some personal information to ensure authenticity of the user information. Once the authenticity of user information is established, an account may be created. The user account may include a user email account, with integrated access to digital certificates linked to the user account. Account creation may also automatically publish the new user’s public key in a publicly accessible directory, enabling encrypted email information to be easily sent to the new user.