Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is a game changer in the area of digital identities. It allows a decentralized management of identities while giving back control to their owner. It solves core privacy problems existing in centralized and federated identity models and offers new ways of using identities (e.g. user accounts) and official documents (e.g. diplomas) in the form of verifiable credentials. Those verifiable credential are stored in a digital wallet on mobile phones and can be managed autonomously and securely by the owner. SSI, which combines advanced cryptography and blockchain, will strongly influence the way digital identities of people and objects are used in the future. Application of this new technology are already in place in different sectors such as government, travel and health sectors. They highlight the potential of this technology, not only in terms of privacy and security but also in terms of digitalization and user experience.
To assess the magnitude of this technology, the Incubator is running an initiative which has the goal to evaluate the technical feasibility, the economic added value as well as the acceptance of this technology. The first experiences were gathered as we replaced the Google-ID-login of the cardossier association's with the decentralized identity management system of esatus. In addition, we implemented in our test environment a SSI lab with open source components, allowing us to create and demonstrate basic SSI use cases such as the issuing of identities, the process of authentication or the age verification based on zero knowledge proof. As a further step we are implementing currently three complementary representative use cases as a proof of concept (PoC), highlighting both the issuing of verifiable credentials and their use by users. In the design, realization and evaluation of the real use cases, stakeholders of the market are involved actively to receive an unfiltered and representative feedback regarding the implemented solution. For each use case we conduct acceptance tests.
Thanks to the implementation of these use cases we will gain valuable insights concerning the following aspects:
- Technology: What is the maturity and the complexity of SSI regarding the development and the operation of SSI-based solutions. What is the adequate technology stack for each application?
- User Experience: How should the user experience should be designed to ensure a high user acceptance and to make the concept of the end-user wallet understandable?
- Business: What is the added value and possible use cases for our client as an issuer or as verifier (service provider) as well as their customers?
- Compliance: Which governance, processes and best practices have to be put in place in order to assure ideal compliance?
The SSI Login for cardossier went live in November 2020. We are utilizing our SSI lab with three demos since March 2021. The implementation of the three PoCs with external stakeholders is ongoing.
An intermediate status is published here: Exploring the potential of Self-Sovereign Identity with representative use cases