Decentralized Weekly is a publication by Warpgate Ventures aimed to demystify the technology, jargon, and concepts of the decentralized web. We believe that the catalyst to user adoption is proper education and knowledge sharing.
This week’s focus is about Decentralized Identities. What is a Decentralized Identity? Why do we need it? Why do we need to have sovereignty over our digital identities?
Decentralized Identity is the ability of an individual or person to gain ownership of their digital information through a unique identifier that they manage and own.The unique identifier leverages decentralized ledger technology to take into account all of the information of a particular individual. Individuals can store a multitude of information on their identifiers ranging from citizenship information, healthcare information, and personal records to name a few. Individuals can verify their digital information through external parties to authenticate their identity.
An external verifier can be a legacy institution who typically manages the information of the individual. The role of these verifiers is to make sure that the information stored for the individual is accurate and acceptable.
Once authenticated and verified, the digital information stored and kept by the individual can now be accepted by other individuals or institutions to be utilized as information tied to the owner. This eliminates the prevailing issue of falsification of information and makes it faster to conduct transactions that require an amount of KYC (Know Your Customer)
It is important to note that, for the decentralized identity concept would need an ecosystem acceptance for it to thrive in today’s society. This means that, it needs to be widely accepted by several organizations, institutions, and individuals in order for it to work. Interoperability follows user adoption. Once several entities accept this mode of sharing digital information, the decentralized identity web can grow and expand.
Since the Decentralized Identity is managed primarily by the individual, the burden of storing, managing, and securing their information is bound to the individual. Since they own and hold the unique identifier, the management of their private keys and information must be kept secure.
This presents an opportunity for third-party custodians.Custodians can manage and secure Decentralized Identities for individuals and organizations who would require assistance in keeping their DID and allowing access to such information based on consent. However, the security of private keys would still be managed by the owners.
Next let’s take a look at the current landscape of Decentralized Identities. South Korea is spearheading a Decentralized Identity Movement - Identity management for the country - promises a treasure trove of use cases beneficial for the country. Launched last year, Seoul’s DID.
“B-pass” - integrated identity and verification map for Busan developed by a private company. Integrated with a variety of public services such as healthcare, public transportation, and even libraries. Access to unmanned convenience stores. Users can also report crime reports with built in rewards systems
Busan is a blockchain regulation free zone, to be utilized as a test bed for blockchain technologies. 6 other zones have also been established by Korea. Expect heavy adoption from Korea in the next few years or even months.