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Why Identity

Identity is about access. It is the key that unlocks doors we wish to enter. To stream movies, we need access to get into the virtual theater. Today, we do that by having an account with a streaming service, which authenticates us into the lobby.

We need authorization to enter the theater to watch the movie, which requires a service plan. Which selection will determine whether we can watch in standard, high definition, or 4k.

This example is repeatable across all interactions: banking, insurance, online services, shopping, investing, education, traveling, driving, etc. Identity may be the most essential thing we undervalue in our lives. We use it to physically and digitally access goods and services locally and globally.

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI)

SSI introduces new concepts that flip the existing identity models. The control shifts from the central authorities to the edges, with individuals. SSI is a set of principles that leverage decentralized identity technology. Sovrin compiled a list of the principles in an easy-to-digest format, available here.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) organization has been setting the standards for the Internet as we know it. Similarly, they are also working on next-generation technologies such as decentralized identity. In July 2022, the W3C approved the DID specification to become a recommendation.

The W3C has compiled a list in addition to the specifications for all DID methods available here.

For a deep dive into the DID specification itself, the W3C standard is here.