Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt a variety of industries. Self-Sovereign Identity has to be one of those sectors that are ripe for change. Despite the fact that various measures have been done to enhance the identification market, bringing the blockchain into the mix has the potential to completely disrupt the industry.
A/ Self-Sovereign Identity Definition
Self-sovereignty is the belief that it is a moral right for an individual to have control over their own body and life. Because every firm and entity has an internet presence, Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is more important than ever. The likelihood of online fraud or identity mismanagement grows considerably when there are so many fragmented identities.
Furthermore, given that we live in an increasingly automated society that will eventually embrace IoT (internet of things), an individual’s identification rights are becoming increasingly important.
B/ The Three Main Problems Self-Sovereign Identity That Blockchain Will Solve
1. Digital units should be difficult to duplicate.
Anything of great worth should be difficult to duplicate. The same may be said about one’s digital identity. Two persons should not be able to utilize the same identifying details. This isn’t simply about people’s identities. This phenomenon is known as “double-spending” in the bitcoin world.
In this way, digital money differs from fiat money. You are merely advertising to the network that you wish to transmit a specific amount of money to someone else when you make a transaction.
This is mitigated by Bitcoin’s use of blockchain technology:
- The users of the blockchain network must verify each transaction.
- In exchange for a fee, the miners validate the transaction.
- The miner will lose the fee if they do not notice a double-spend transaction.
2. Digital files should be impenetrable to tamper
- All of the personal record data used to be physically stored in registers back in the day, which caused a slew of issues. The cash registers are vulnerable to theft.
- Bribing someone to tamper with the records is a straightforward process.
- The wear and tear on registers are inevitable.
Specific issues continued even after the system was converted to digital.
- It is always possible to hack the system.
- The bribing angle was still present. Anyone may bribe a government officer to modify the records.
The blockchain has the potential to add this capability to the system. Each block in a blockchain has its own digital fingerprint, which is referred to as a “hash.” The cryptographical hash algorithms prohibit the files from being altered once they have been placed inside a block.
A cryptographic hash function is a subset of hash functions with features that make them perfect for cryptography. To be considered secure, a cryptographic hash function must possess certain characteristics.
3. Digital processes should be impenetrable to tampering
The third issue that blockchain can address is the security of a trustless process. Every official entity has a protocol for every little activity.
Following a precise method to safeguard something as vital as personal identities, which cannot be tampered with. A large number of players must follow certain processes at all times to maintain the process’s safety and to remove any corrupt human behavior.
The “consensus mechanism” on the blockchain effectively fixed this problem a long time ago. People must use a specific procedure to protect something as important as personal identities.
According to its website, “Sovrin is the world’s only worldwide public utility for verified, self-sovereign identification.” Nobody can’t controll it: everyone may use it, and anyone can improve it.” Sovrin’s objective, to put it simply, is to put a person’s self-sovereign identity on the blockchain.
“Zero-knowledge proofs” is one of the fundamental technologies it employs. A prover can prove to the verifier that they have a certain knowledge without revealing what that information is, according to the zero-knowledge principle.
For a Zero-Knowledge Proof to be effective, there are some several requirements:
- Completeness: If the assertion is true, an honest prover can persuade an honest verifier to believe it.
- Soundness: If the prover is lying, they will not be able to persuade the verifier that the assertion is true.
- Zero-Knowledge: The verifier will have no notion what the assertion is if it is true.
1. Pairwise Identifiers
Identifiers for Pairs
The notion of Pairwise Identifiers, according to Outlier Ventures, is one of the most groundbreaking concepts they have ever seen. Let’s take a closer look at what pairwise decentralized identifiers (DIDs) are and why they’re so revolutionary. The number on your social security card and on your credit card is a fixed number. Anyone may use them to keep track of what they’re doing, where they’re going, and how much money they’re spending. This is “Universal Identifiers,” and they pose serious privacy concerns.
The Equifax Hack, in which attackers were able to acquire half of the US population’s social security numbers, is one of the finest instances of the dangers of universal identifiers. Assume you wish to sign up for an e-commerce website. You just give them a DID, which you have created specifically for this reason, rather than your payment card information or phone number.
2. The Token of Sovrin
Through the usage of the Sovrin token, the Sovrin protocol transforms into a digital marketplace of trust.
Before we go any farther, it’s important to understand the terms verifier, issuer, and owner.
If you provide a merchant with your credit card, the retailer will need to check the validity of your card with your bank. In this instance:
- You = Owner.
- Merchant = Verifier.
- Bank = Issuer.
Between the verifier and the issuer, the identity of the owner is verified. The Sovrin coin establishes a virtuous loop of issuers competing on credential quality and cost by providing a worldwide public value for SSI. In essence, this establishes a trust flow that can travel from verifiers to issuers OR from verifiers to owners to issuers.
3. RIF Directory
RIF Directory is the RIF services’ identification and reputation layer, as well as an integral component of the decentralized sharing economy’s self-sovereign identities. Consumers and developers will be able to locate services through the directory, and people will be able to learn about them. If people wish to, they can exchange information on other people or services.
Why should you utilize RIF Directory?
- RIF Directory protects users’ data, and they have complete control over who has access to it and how to use it.
- It enables consumers to interact with numerous markets and platforms while maintaining the ability to move between them.
- To connect with all main self-sovereign identification technologies, provide users and nodes with uniform APIs and libraries.
- In decentralized economies, users may simply control their IDs.
What is the relationship between the RIF Directory and the rest of the RIF ecosystem?
RIFOS is presently working on a number of improvements, making the need for a reputation and identity layer more important than ever. RNS will allow customers to search the RIF marketplace for various services, while RIF Directory will aid in establishing the repute of the service providers.
Conclusion on Self-Sovereign Identity
RIF Directory and Sovrin permanently disrupt the identification space. Your identity becomes increasingly vital and fragile as the world becomes more digital and transparent. As we move forward, self-sovereign identification via blockchain should be the method we address the “identity dilemma.”