The Basics of DIDs ep.1
"Who owns you?"
GM guys! I’m Kouki from VESS Labs, and we are developing the Work Identity Protocol VESS.
In our weekly series VESS Newsletter, we deliver topics about DID/VC (Decentralized Identity) and SBT (Self-sovereign Identity). We would be happy if you could subscribe to our series!
This week's topic is "Introduction to DIDs (Decentralized Identifiers) Part 1". We will be publishing several articles on DID in the coming weeks. Even if you are already familiar with DID, we would appreciate it if you could give it a read.
Who owns you?
When asked, "Who owns you?", most people would likely say, "I am mine!" However, in the world of the internet, that may not be the case.
Many of us have logged into web applications using "Sign in with Google" or "Sign in with Twitter." In this way, our information is accessed through authentication from companies like Google and Twitter.
Now, what if those servers from Google or Twitter were to go down? We would lose access to our own information. We would lose control of our own identities against our will.
Retrieve our identities with decentralized technology
As we have seen, the problem is that our access to our own information is dependent on companies like Google.
To solve this problem, we can use blockchain and decentralized ledger technologies. By decentralizing the power, we can create a safer and more robust internet ID, known as a Decentralized Identifier (DIDs).
By decentralizing, DIDs have several properties:
Control: We can create and manage our own IDs, and no one can take them away from us.
Verifiable: Without relying on centralized powers like Google, it is possible to prove that the information submitted to a third party has not been tampered with and that the information submitted is from oneself.
In this way, DIDs enable "self-sovereign" data management, allowing us to access our data with cryptographic keys that we create and control.
Why don’t you use a wallet?
It may seem that using a blockchain wallet is similar to using DID, as both are decentralized and allow for self-control and verification. However, a blockchain wallet primarily allows for referencing on-chain information and if the wallet's private key or seed phrase is lost, it cannot be recovered. With DID, not only can you access on-chain information, but also information stored on decentralized data storage such as IPFS. Additionally, DID allows for multiple verification methods to be linked or replaced, preventing the permanent loss of access to one's data even if the private key is lost.
However, with the development of technologies such as Account Abstraction, wallets are also becoming capable of similar functionality as DID. I will delve into this topic in more detail in another opportunity!
Pieces that cannot be filled only with DID.
Now, have we truly retrieved our identity with just DID? The truth is, we've only just reached the starting line.
It's important to understand that DID is a "Decentralized Identifier," not a "Decentralized Identity."
To understand this, let's look at the difference between "Identifier" and "Identity":
Identifier = Unique string that refers to one subject
Identity = Collection of information that represents one subject
In other words, a DID is like your "internet name" and Decentralized Identity refers to all decentralized information associated with that name. We are not just composed of our name, but also various other information such as social media posts and education and work history and so on.
So, DID is only a small part of the data that makes up our Identity, and we have only regained our "name" so far.
Then, how do we decentralize other pieces of information associated with ourselves? One proposed method is Verifiable Credentials (VC). Although it has a technical name, it is simply a digital certificate. Similar to a driver's license or diploma, it is a way to realize certificates in the internet world.
We will discuss Verifiable Credentials in more detail later. Additionally, on-chain identities such as NFTs and transaction history are also considered decentralized information associated with an individual or wallet, and can be considered part of a Decentralized Identity.
In summary, DID, Decentralized Identity, and VC are related as follows:
DIDs are a decentralized identifiers standard for self-sovereign ID generation and management
Decentralized Identity is a collection of self-sovereign information, including DID, that makes up one's identity
VC is a standard that uses DID to prove the authenticity and origin of a certificate, without relying on a third party.
DID/VCs are standardized and DID has also been recommended by W3C. However, these are still in the developmental stage and things may change in a few years. Additionally, there are still many obstacles to overcome and I would like to write an article about the problems that DID/VCs face in the future.
Thank you for reading this article!
Thanks for reading VESS Newsletter - Exploring DID/SBT World! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
VESS: Applying DID/VCs to work history
At VESS Labs, we are developing the Work Identity Protocol VESS, which aims to curate digital identities on the internet and make them useful as "digital resumes" for both Web2 and Web3.
We are also currently accepting the waitlist for our web3 job search platform, SYNAPSS, which utilizes the VESS protocol and is set to be released at the end of February!
By utilizing DID/VCs technology, our platform will offer a new form of job searching in the Web3 era, including:
✅ No more tedious forms during job applications!
✅ You can search for jobs based on reliable company profiles!
✅ A membership credential of a company that hires you is issued after you got a job!
Please check it out and stay tuned for more updates!
Author → Kouki Minamoto
VESS Website : https://vess.id
SYNPASS Website : https://lp.vess.id/en/synapss/apply
VESS Twitter: @vess_id
VESS Discord: https://discord.gg/dAhxxmfc4p
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org