Image for post
Image for post

The trust infrastructure is concerned with the question of how and why the presented information can be trusted. It defines the rules for all stakeholders and enables legally binding relationships with the combination of governance frameworks, which are built on top of trust frameworks.

But before we dive deeper into the part of the trust infrastructure, we need to understand the core components and the different types of identity architecture first.

Core components of identity architecture

There are three core components within an identity system, which in general mainly manage relationships. These are identifiers enabling the means for “remembering, recognizing, and relying on the other parties to the relationship” as explained by Phil Windley. In the case of SSI, these are decentralized Identifiers (DIDs), which are created by a controller, which might be a person, organization or software system. Controllers can use different authentication factors, which according to the Guidance for the application of the level of assurance for eIDAS (CEF DIGITAL), can be possession-based factors (e.g. hardware), knowledge-based factors (e.g. keys or passwords) or inherent factors (e.g. biometrics like a fingerprint). …

This article takes the mental models of identity and explores how they can be achieved with a self-sovereign identity (SSI) solution.

To pin down the meaning and definition of identity is a challenging task due to its uniquely human nature. It can have totally different meanings for different people. However, there are reoccurring themes when speaking about the term. The following five mental models describe what people refer to, when speaking about identity and provide a useful structure of how these models can be executed in a digital environment leveraging SSI infrastructure and components. While the concept of SSI can be applied for individuals, legal entities and things alike, the following paragraph solely focuses on individuals and explains how these models can serve as a guideline for SSI implementations. …

This article highlights and describes five aspects, which are crucial for the adoption of self-sovereign identity (SSI).

Image for post
Image for post
The five growth factors of self-sovereign identity

Every new technology, which aims to change the way we live requires certain aspects to be fulfilled. This article provides an overview of five critical requirements to achieve mass-adoption of SSI. While they are ranked from “least important” to “essential” all of them need to be in place to gain a significant market share for the technology.

1. The Business of SSI

To be successfully adopted on a commercial side, companies need an economic incentive to adopt SSI. Current identity solutions aren’t satisfactory for consumers and companies alike. This obviously varies from country to country, but is still an issue for our society. There are plenty of reasons for European businesses to adopt SSI. Firstly, identity access management (IAM) solutions are very costly. The aspect of cost reduction alone is a valid reason to explore SSI. However, there are more important aspects why SSI makes business sense. …

This article explains the ethical situation societies face in the context of a transition from an organisational to a self-sovereign identity.

Image for post
Image for post

Ethics is concerned with the study of morality and the application of reasons to elucidate specific rules & principles that determine right & wrong for a given situation. Morality is concerned with the norms, values and beliefs embedded in social processes, which define right & wrong for an individual or a community. Hence, ethics rationalise morality to produce ethical theories that can be applied to any situation.

“It asks the following questions: ‘How do we want to live?’, ‘How should a person act?’ and ‘Which values determine our lives?’ Ethics doesn’t ask: ‘What is technically feasible?’, but instead ‘What is desirable?’ and ‘For whom is it desirable?’” Dr. …

This article aims to explain the current identity-management developments of our society on a meta-level and highlights the importance of self-sovereign identity.

Status quo of online identity:

A person’s online identity is split among a multitude of companies and organisations, which store the personal data of their users on centralised databases. But identity is more than the summary of our login credentials and physical identifiers. The importance lies in the relationship between the individual and the relating party. Currently, we face the problem that most of the time information can’t be proven — only trusted.

“Identity isn’t something an individual holds, it’s not the credentials. It’s firstly the relationship between the issuer and the holder of the credential.”
Emrys Schoemaker on Tim Bouma’s definitely identity podcast.

This blog-post aims to help the reader understand current developments regarding the adoption of self-sovereign identity solutions on a European level via ESSIF.

EDIT (16.06.2020): This article originally referred to the framework as “eSSIF”, which has been adjusted to the official syntax.

Image for post
Image for post

The European self-sovereign identity framework (ESSIF) is part of the European blockchain service infrastructure (EBSI). The EBSI is a joint initiative from the European Commission and the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) to deliver EU-wide cross-border public services using blockchain technology.

The EBSI aims to become a “gold standard” digital infrastructure to support the launch and operation of EU-wide cross-border public services. It is a multi-blockchain network with multiple use-cases such as notarization of documents, ESSIF, certification of diplomas and trusted data sharing. While there is an EBSI wallet, it’s for test purposes only and not for the public. The consensus of the permissioned network might be achieved via proof of authority (POA) with one node per member state. …

Image for post
Image for post
Scenario building for online identity in 2040 with mega-corporations, total government surveillance, identity chaos and self-sovereign identity

This blog-post focuses on four different online identity scenarios while highlighting the importance of the adoption of self-sovereign identity solutions. It also provides the reader with an overview of the status-quo before diving deeper into the topic.

The history of online identity. Where do we come from?

In the early 2000’s companies increasingly offered their products and services online and therefore created the need for organizing access for consumers to their internal systems. IAM — Identity access management became part of every online business.

Def: IAM is the discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons.

Uncontrolled growth in IAM solutions adapted to the specific needs of a legal entity. These were not scalable and had no integrations for similar systems. First, we had siloed identity, then federated identity, now user-centric identity. Growth in cyber-attacks and regulatory requirement has considerably augmented the adoption of consumer IAM solutions among organizations. However, solutions will further increase in complexity due to IoT, cloud computing, increased global internet usage and a multitude of regulatory approaches like the GDPR and CCPA. …

This blog-post aims to explain what decentralized applications are and provide the reader with a better understanding of why dapps are developed and how you can access them.

Image for post
Image for post
Thumbnail: Introduction to dapps and WEB3 wallets

Dapp [Decentralized application]: An application that uses decentralized protocols for some or all aspects of its operation. Crucial parts of the program logic within the back-end are required to be executed on a decentralized peer-to-peer network (the blockchain) to be considered a dapp. Dapps are powered by smart contracts, a program, which is stored and run on a (permissionless) blockchain network executing the core logic of the dapp.

In some extreme cases, developers use decentralized storage systems like IPFS to host the frontend and other files, minimizing counterparty risks and resulting in a higher degree of resilience against third party interference. …

This blog-post is also available as video.

Image for post
Image for post
Thumbnail: A new economic logic — surveillance capitalism

While information is abundant on the internet, our attention is a finite and valuable resource. To use our attention as efficient as possible, tech companies have developed a new kind of capitalism, which accumulates behavioral data to bring advertisement technology to perfection. We call it surveillance capitalism.

You are tracked, right now!

As soon as you go online, multiple parties track everything you are doing. We live in constant surveillance, and your online behavior is used for targeted advertisement. But how did this happen and what are the consequences for our society?

Online surveillance is omnipresent: They know your location, search history, the installed apps on your phone, the websites you visit, and what you read and watch. They also monitor your social media posts, your private conversations, emails, what you buy, as well as all the metadata that comes with it and the list goes on and on. …

Image for post
Image for post

A bitcoin node is a computer, which is participating in the global bitcoin network by speaking the bitcoin peer-to-peer network protocol. This protocol allows the nodes of the network to communicate and propagate transactions and blocks to each other.

A full node stores the full history with all transactions, which were written into the blockchain. They serve a fundamental purpose, as they act as an authoritative verifier of every single transaction and block. When a new block is propagated, your full node doesn’t trust this new information. …


SSI Ambassador

Educational content about self-sovereign identity with focus on Europe. Content by Adrian Doerk

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store