Identity for a Digital Age
The full article was originally published by Chris Mueller on HelloIOTA. Read the full article here.
Despite the world being in the throes of a pandemic, human ingenuity and resolve continues to shine. Our cities might be locked down, yet we press on.
Nature has made a comeback as humans have retreated into their homes. New Delhi is no longer plagued by smog and Twitter has been alive with wild animal sightings in uncharacteristic places. Deer in parking garages, wolves in neighborhoods, and even (apparently false) reports of porpoises enjoying newly clean Venice waterways.
The idea of a green future inspired the cover art for this article – New York City being overgrown with lush greenery. Hopefully our readership enjoys the fine HelloIOTA artwork as much as we do.
Fitting with the idea of a changing world, a greener future, and never-ending human resolve, let’s talk about the efforts across the tech industry to solve the issue of COVID immunity verification.
The Global Legal Hackathon paired the IOTA Foundation with one of the largest law firms, Dentons, for about a month ending this week. The product of such a valuable collaboration was as timely as it was brilliant – an app that uses digital identity/decentralized identity (“DID”) to track and verify COVID19 health status of users. It’s called Selv. Before learning about Selv, we need to understand the DID space and how it fits with COVID19.
The World Wide Web Consortium, also known as W3C, was founded in 1994 by the Tim Berners-Lee. Needless to say, W3C is the standard when it comes to all things internet. They have an entire website dedicated to decentralized identifiers. Go check it out if you want to jump down the rabbit hole. Sections of the site cover terminology, architecture, properties, representations, and many other technical topics. Instead of getting bogged down in the details, the key takeaway for us is that it seems like a lot of smart people have spent a lot of time thinking about DIDs.
Although it’s true that progress requires this sort of thinking, spec-ing, and interoperability foresight, there comes a time when code just needs to be written. DID has been talked about for years. Now is the time for action.
To give an idea of what the surrounding market looks like, let’s briefly touch on three COVID credentials projects and/or papers: