Decentralized Identifiers and Verifiable Credentials

W3C standards to ensure interoperability

Significant momentum has been developing behind a universal decentralized identity system based on open standards, including the W3C-supported decentralized identifier (DID) and verifiable credential (VC) standards. Associated industry groups supporting this open standard include the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), Sovrin Foundation, and the HyperLedger Foundation projects Indy, Aries, and Ursa.

Decentralized Identifier

The decentralized identifier (DID) is a new and open standard type of globally unique identifier that offers a model for lifetime-scope portable digital identity that does not depend on any centralized authority and that can never be taken away by third-parties.

DIDs are supported by the W3C community and the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF). They are the "atomic units" of a new layer of decentralized identity infrastructure.

‌However, DIDs can be extended from identifiers for people to any entity, thus identifying everything: humans, enterprises, objects, manufactured products, machines, vehicles, documents, data sets, algorithms and digital assets.

‌Spherity uses DIDs to identify and manage objects, machines, or agents through their digital twins; we can expand them to locations, to events, and even to pure data objects.

Verifiable Credentials

DIDs are only the base layer of decentralized identity infrastructure. The next layer up (where most of the value is unlocked) is verifiable credentials . This is the technical term for a digitally signed electronic data structure that conforms to the interoperability standards being developed by the W3C Verifiable Credentials Working Group.

Using DIDs in linked cryptographic data structures enables the verification of the provenance of a given data flow. This kind of data provenance is very valuable in such fields as image processing, health data processing, driving event data processing, validation of lightweight manufactured objects (such as in 3-D printing or automated machining) or in the AI propositions of the insurance industry.