Identosphere Weekly Highlights #6

Nov 8-14

Welcome to the 6th edition of our weekly summary of SSI + related topics.

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If you’re interested to learn about the backend technologies supporting this newsletter, Infominer wrote a blog post describing his work on some of the more technical aspects of creating it.

In conjunction with this newsletter, infominer is also creating a weekly collection of tweets related to decentralized identity (Week 2 November).

Here we go with the news….

The founders of IIW have done a lot of blogging this week

Phil Windley has 4 posts: 

  1. Operationalizing Digital Relationships. An SSI wallet provides a place for people to stand in the digital realm. Using the wallet, people can operationalize their digital relationships as peers with others online. The result is better, more authentic, digital relationships, more flexible online interactions, and the preservation of human freedom, privacy, and dignity.

  2. Relationships and Identity, We build digital identity systems to create and manage relationships—not identities. We need our digital relationships to have integrity and to be useful over a specified lifetime. Identity systems should provide relationship integrity and utility to participants for the appropriate length of time. Participants should be able to create relationships with whatever party will provide utility. SSI provides improved support for creating, managing, and using digital relationships.

  3. The Architecture of Identity Systems The architecture of an identity system has a profound impact on the nature of the relationships it supports. This post categorizes the high-level architecture of identity systems, discusses the properties of each category to understand architectural influences, and explores what their respective architectures mean to their legitimacy as a basis for online life.

  4. Authentic Digital Relationships, Self-sovereign identity, supported by a heterarchical identity metasystem, creates a firm foundation for rich digital relationships that allow people to be digitally embodied so they can act online as autonomous agents.

SSI is not Dystopian - it’s being built by a generative community.

Kaliya has an 8 series post rebutting the Dystopian SSI rant by Philip Sheldrake who suggests we should spend who knows how long chit-chatting with him and social scientists in his “generative identity” group instead of building things. Post 1 republishes a letter posted on the VRM list in February. Post 5 highlights a very interesting document people don’t really know about its a vision that Lawrence Lessig published in 1998 proposing an identity layer of the net (that SSI meets the criteria for) and Post 7 that touches on the power of DIDComm and how identity indeed is a process.  

Doc Comments on the Election 

Saying we’re in the Epilogue Now

There are many stories within and behind the story, but this was the big one, and it had to end. Enough refs calling it made the ending official. President Trump will continue to fight, but the outcome won’t change.

Wisdom from Tim Bouma

(Not an IIW founder but a Digital Identity OG none-the-less)

Tim Bouma is interviewed by SSI Ambassador - Adrian Doerk

Every technology is a two-edged sword, gunpowder, guns, you know anything? There’s an upside and there’s the downside. I think that’s something that we have to be very cognizant of. Just like in the mid 90s you had the crypto wars with the clipper chip You can only export certain key strengths and that caused a reaction. We have to be careful that we don’t get caught into those same traps of us against the government or government against them. I think we have to figure out how to work this out together.

Upcoming Events

Information Security Solutions Europe is happening this week put on by EMMA has some luminaries speaking at the Vision for European Security and Trust including Kim Cameron, Dave Birch, Heather Flanagan, Pamela Dingle, Katryan Dow. November 16-19

Closing Keynote at Authenticate - CVP of identity talking about “is the future decentralized?” November 20th. 

Company Webinar by Condatis Getting Started with Self-Sovereign Identity November 18th. 

SSI Toronto: Embracing Privacy to Fuel Growth - A panel discussion exploring questions surrounding the struggle between data privacy and economic growth. November 24 

Company News

Odyssey Momentum

New Platform for Odyssey hackathon supports SSI 

Cherrytwist is backed by a non-profit foundation of the same name and supported by Jolocom self-sovereign identity (SSI) technology. Cherrytwist offers a platform for managing challenges in a neutral way. Its vision is to enable a vibrant community that comes together, giving everyone the opportunity to fully contribute to the complex challenges we face today. Additionally, it seeks to unleash the potential for innovation that comes when all team members can build on, refine, and improve each others’ contributions.

IOTA DID - Alpha Release for Rust & Javascript

IOTA just announced their alpha release of a standard framework for digital identity, based upon the W3C standards for DID decentralized identifiers and Verifiable Credentials, including the full Rust implementation and Web Assembly bindings. IOTA is also participating with Odyssey Momentum, and open-sourced their Selv identity wallet, as part of their hackathon package. They’ve also announced the launch of their IOTA Identity Experience Team to help pave the road for IOTA identity in the DLT and IOT space.

Core identity standards

Trinsic Basics: What Are SSI Standards?

Trinsic highlights the core identity standards and their commitment to them.

There are two kinds of standards that Trinsic implements to enable interoperability and avoid vendor lock-in: data model standards and protocol standards.

Trusted P2P Messaging with DIDs, DIDComm and VCs

uPort writes a great post about their path towards trusted P2P messaging and announces the DIDAgent Framework (DAF)

when we speak about a DID, then we need to be more precise and also speak about the particular DID method of that DID which defines the CRUD operations on a target system such as Ethereum.

Spruce Systems introduces DIDKit

DIDKit is a cross-platform toolkit for working with W3C Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) and Verifiable Credentials (VCs). It allows you to resolve and manage DID documents, and also manage the entire lifecycle of Verifiable Credentials including their issuance, presentation, and verification.

MyDex CCI on working with the Scottish Government. 

A Way Forward for Personal Data and launching a Beta Phase of the work

The Smart Entitlements concept is very simple. Its goal is to create a common, easy approach for citizens to access public services that is consistent across multiple service providers. To achieve this, it provides citizens with the ability to store their personal information in an Attribute (or personal data) Store which they own and control.

The wallets are coming… 

Civic Phases out Identity Application

We’re proud of the added functionality and product flow that we’ve built in Civic Wallet. With this improved user experience now in place, we will be removing Civic Secure Identity from app stores by the end of November and asking these users to download Civic Wallet.

The GiD Report#134 — DOJ challenges Visa/Plaid, SSI is “hot stuff”

GlobalID quoting the Harvard Blog: “The easiest tool to imagine is a wallet or a wallet app (here’s one) with some kind of dashboard.

It’s understandable then why Civic is phasing out it’s identity app and merging it into its wallet. (Which further validates GlobaliD’s current path.)

Catching up with Ethereum ID

How uPort protects user privacy

Privacy-Preserving Identity System for Ethereum dApps

Consider user privacy a requirement when deciding which Ethereum identity system to implement.

The 3 parts of identity in a dynamic world

At 3Box we live and breathe identity, and while GDPR and data abuses like Facebook’s may be concerning, they have also brought some welcome attention to the issues of digital privacy and data control.

SSI 101 

Libertarians have found SSI and they like it   

This week we found a post on that does a great job of explaining both the potential for DIDs and for Verifiable Credentials. 

Just as the State still manages our “analog” identities, the online giants have vast power to manage the online data and identity of their users. Internet users are now both consumer and product: by using free online services, users feed companies with data, which those companies in turn process and monetize.

HackerNoon covers SSI!!! 

How Decentralized Identifiers Will Shape the Future of Identity

Hackers value personal information the most. 96% of hacking groups’ primary motive is intelligence gathering. Researchers at privacy website found that you can obtain a person's full identity for the low price of $1,275.

Self Sovereign Identity — explained

This is a great article by Micha Roon explaining SSI 

It would be great indeed if digital interactions became even more trustworthy without the need to present our data on a silver platter to large Internet corporations

An Oldie but Goodie

Here is a post from March 2012 by Doc Searls talking about Self-Sovereign vs Administrative Identity.

The problem I’m trying to surface here is that we need full respect for self-sovereign identities, and identifiers, before we can solve the problem of highly fractured and incompatible administrative identifiers — a problem that has only become worse with the growth of the Web, where by design we are always the submissive and dependent party: calves to administrative cows.


Personal Data Warehouses 

Simon Wilson presented at a GitHub developer series.

If you’re like me, and you love building side-projects but you don’t like paying $5/month for them for the rest of your life, this is perfect.

User-Centric Verifiable Digital Credentials Challenge

Digital Identity Challenge Canada - Video + Post

Canada boasts world-leading exemplar case studies for the role of Self Sovereign Identity for Digital Government scenarios, including the ACE and BC Orgbook projects.

Intended to accelerate this momentum, and grow adoption across many more use cases.

“The Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS) and Shared Services Canada (SSC) are seeking a standardized method to issue and rapidly verify portable digital credentials across many different contexts, thereby reducing human judgement error, increasing efficiency and ensuring digital credential veracity using cryptography.”

The Github repo provides a detailed knowledge base explaining the program and is further explained in this document.


Let’s Talk About Digital Identity 

with Andrew Weaver, Executive Director of Digital Identity New Zealand (DINZ)

The strange thing with digital identity is most of the technology that’s needed is already there – we’re not really inventing anything new. The key to digital identity working is actually in collaboration.

Getting Internet Identity Right 30 Years On

Money ReImagined with Brian Behlendorf.

Michael Casey and Sheila Warren talk to Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf about self-sovereign identity, the topic of this week's column. A developer whose three-decade career has seen him deeply involved in efforts to foster a more open internet, Brian grasps, like few others, the nuances of how human beings should live within a rapidly changing digital economy.

SecureKey CTO on Replacing the SSN in DHS systems

Federal Blockchain News interviews Dmitry Barinov of SecureKey Technologies

SecureKey Technologies, a Toronto-based firm known for its VerifiedMe platform, on the recent DHS Silicon Valley Innovation Program award to create an "alternative identifier to the Social security number", part of an effort by DHS to reduce collection and use of social security numbers in its operations.

Organizational Updates

DIF and OIDF cooperation

They entered into a liaison agreement providing “a mechanism for both parties to work together on areas of mutual interest, allowing working groups to align and coordinate through dual-members. The first major collaboration, which has already been underway for weeks, is a process for revising the Self-Issued OpenID Connect (SIOP) chapter of the OpenID Connect (OIDC) specification.”

Digital Identity New Zealand

There is a “DIACC” in New Zealand called Digital Identity New Zealand working on a trust framework. 

To create a digital identity ecosystem that enhances privacy, trust and improves access for all people in New Zealand.

BLOK joins ID2020 

ID2020 Welcomes BLOK Solutions to the Alliance

Their most recent solution, BLOK Pass, offers individuals a self-sovereign record of their COVID-19 test results and other risk factors. The technology was developed under the company’s biotech arm, BLOK BioScience.

KABN Network Joins the Trust Over IP Foundation

KABN aims to use proven bank-grade identity verification processes to allow Holders (who use a credential), Verifiers (who confirm the validity of a credential) and Issuers (who produce the credential) to complete transactions of many kinds including financial services, eCommerce transactions, organization, building and visitor access badges among others.

Decentralized ID has new pages

OntologyTykn TechBlockstackHandshakeVeres OneWorld Wide Web ConsortiumTrinsic

Once overwhelmed with the prospect of trying to adequately cover the vast field emerging around decentralized identity, Infominer has come back in full swing with the intention of doing exactly that. If your organization, or favorite resources, are not yet listed on that website, feel free to reach out with any content recommendations to bump ahead of the line.


Not common standards for SSI, but related or otherwise interesting.

Recently Revised Paper

The Signal Private Group System and Anonymous Credentials Supporting Efficient Verifiable Encryption

In the proposed solution, a central server stores the group membership in the form of encrypted entries. Members of the group authenticate to the server in a way that reveals only that they correspond to some encrypted entry, then read and write the encrypted entries.

ZK for Authentication With Nolan and Locke from NuID - ZeroKnowledge Podcast.

Mentioned in the episode:

Thanks For Reading

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