The Future of Identity: Self-Sovereignity, Digital Wallets, and Blockchain

According to Sovrin, “self-sovereign identity (SSI) is a term used to describe the digital movement that recognizes an individual should own and control their identity without the intervention of administrative authorities. SSI allows people to interact in the digital world with the same freedom and capacity for trust as they do in the offline world.”

10 principles for self-sovereign identity:

  • Access: Users must have access to their own data.
  • Consent: Users must agree to the use of their identity.
  • Control: Users must control their identities.
  • Existence: Users must have an independent existence.
  • Interoperability: Identities should be as widely usable as possible.
  • Minimalization: Disclosure of claims must be minimized.
  • Persistence: Identities must be long-lived Protection: The rights of users must be protected.
  • Portability: Information and services about identity must be transportable.
  • Transparency: Systems and algorithms must be transparent.

Self-sovereign identity introduces a revolutionary and innovative solution for the management of individual digital identities. This model has the potential to solve the problems and inconveniences presented by the current identity management systems in terms of regulation, technology, and security. In doing so, this model combines two innovative technologies: digital wallets and decentralized ledgers. Digital wallets will allow individuals to manage all their digital assets with total independence, sovereignty, and privacy. We will be able to have fast and safe access to digital versions of identity documents, academic diplo- mas, and property tiles, among other valuable identifying information. We will also be able to manage tokenized fiat currencies such as the dollar, euro, libra, pesos, yuan, and even cryptocurrencies.

SSI and Blockchain Technology

Blockchain and SSI are natural complements, making the perfect symbiosis. SSI solutions need de- centralized and immutable registries of information to be able to store proofs of ownership of identifiers and digital credentials. Decentralized and immutable registries of information are also useful for storing lists of decentralized identifiers, certificate authorities (CA), and other public registries necessary for SSI solutions. The other way around, in order to create blockchain networks in which any physical asset can be tokenized and transferred, identity is mandatory. 18 Without identity, most of blockchain-based appli- cations, such as those used in supply chains, trade, notarization, land registries, and digital diplomas, among many others, would never be legally compliant.

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Source: Inter-American Development Bank