Nowadays, we are reliant on digital services for many aspects of our daily lives, from online shopping to financial services in so-called Web 2.0. We use several, if not hundreds, of accounts to interact with different centralized web platforms such as social media or email services. The problem is that when we lose access to our accounts, we lose our digital identities as the sites can’t identify who we are anymore. This means we don't actually own our identities and data. There is something wrong with this. We need to take back ownership of our data and digital identity, and self-sovereign identities can make that happen, paving the way for us to move into Web 3.0.
Self-sovereign identity refers to an approach that gives individuals control of their digital identities.
So what exactly is a self-sovereign identity? Self-sovereign identity refers to an approach that gives individuals control of their digital identities. To better understand this concept, let's look at two models:
Our email accounts, website accounts, and social media accounts currently allow digital services to identify us online. We either create an account for each platform, or we use a single sign-on provided by a service provider such as Facebook or Google. Regardless of which method we use, our data is stored centrally by the account provider. This model has created some serious problems:
To overcome all problems mentioned above with the centralized identity model, we then need to introduce the decentralized identity model, which enables self-sovereign identity. The relationship between an individual and a counterpart (such as an individual, an organization, or an IoT) is peer-to-peer. It no longer relies on a centralized entity, but utilizes decentralized networks, namely blockchain technology. Some benefits of this method:
Self-sovereign identity is a user-centric digital identity where we as users have full control over our online identities, but it is not only just for individuals, but also for organizations and even for things (IoT) or programs. We believe that in the short future, we will all use self-sovereign identity to interact with each other peer-to-peer in the digital world, rather than relying on other parties' account-based digital identities.
Interested in obtaining a Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI)? Leave your email in the newsletter subscribe form, and we will inform you when you can create one by yourself.