I went to the DMV last week and the visit unfolded as you’d expect: A lot of filling out paper forms and waiting on wooden benches. The place is a technology time warp and perhaps that’s not a big deal—after all, you only have to go there every 5 years if you want to drive a car.

The trouble is we use our drivers license for many other things, from boarding a plane to entering a bar. Our license is a powerful document that tells the world who we are.

And yet, the gatekeeper to this identity system is a goofy motor vehicle agency that has a fetish for clipboards. That’s why the idea of blockchain for identity is so intriguing.

In theory, it will soon be possible to store our personal data on the blockchain, using biometrics to grant access only to those who ask for permission to see it. This could mean a day will come when we no longer need to rely on credit agencies like Equifax to collect and store troves of our personal information.

More ambitious visions of identity—backed by the likes of Accenture and Microsoft—envision using blockchain as a way to help refugees and the world’s poor obtain citizenship and immigration records. Best of all, the security features of blockchain could mean hacking and identity theft will become much harder. Read more from fortune.com…

thumbnail courtesy of fortune.com