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Unwrapping the Decentralised Identity Landscape

April 1, 2022
decentralization
landscape
identity
trustecosystem
openweb

Unwrapping the Decentralised Identity Landscape

What is a Decentralised Identity?

Decentralised identity, an emerging trust framework for digital identity, strives to give data ownership and control back to the user. This framework empowers individuals to own his or her data, decide where to store it, and choose to share some or all of it with others. Often, this decentralised identity is used to create verifiable and shareable data for securely accessing products and services.

There are many companies that work in this promising space, and a lot of them are a part of an umbrella organisation called the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF).

DIF is an organisation involved in developing a new identity ecosystem. To this end, it strives to create the foundational components that would provide an open and standards-based ecosystem for people and organisations to leverage for app development and interoperability across platforms and devices.

DIF members play a role in developing the specification and emerging standards for protocols, components, and data formats to facilitate the adoption of decentralised identities. Along with shaping the standards, these members also create the technical components and protocols to advance the common interests of everyone in the decentralised space.

The above image is a bird eye view of the technology companies and organisations that are actively involved within DIF and are offering products/services.

The above classification is based on the list of members that are a part of DIF. The classification in the list is not exhaustive and organisations have been categorised based on the key strengths. Please email us in case you think your organisation needs reclassification based on technological or product updates.

By using the DIF's 4 layer identity model and putting our own twist to the core offerings of members organisations we have categorised them into the following layers:


Anchoring

Layer1, also called as the anchoring or the public trust layer, is the foundation containing the identifiers and namespaces, including the DID methods, that provide a trusted mechanism to safely and securely share data.

As per our infographic, this category includes members involved in,

Agent

Layer 2, also known as the Agent layer, consists of the agents and infrastructure required for enabling decentralised data ownership, storage, and transfer. Specifically, it encompasses storage, communication, and key management services. 

DIF members who offer these services are categorised in the second layer. They offer,


Credential

The third layer includes all operations that go into creating and managing verifiable data. This layer includes the issuers, holders, verifiers, and the trust triangle they create. Also, it encompasses the process of creating, storing, and managing verifiable credentials.

DIF members that provide verifiable data credentials and their secure exchange are pooled into the third layer.


Use-cases

The fourth layer is the application layer where different VC products are built to meet the needs of end-users. This layer includes apps, wallets, and more that enable a digital trust ecosystem.

Many DIF members have VC-based products used across different verticals such as travel, healthcare, and more. A lot of them also offer wallet products for safe data storage.  Our list includes companies that are working on VC-based pilots and use-cases as well.

Thus, these are the four layers/categories. 

If we have missed you or have you in the wrong category, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to make the necessary changes.

 Affinidi is also a member of DIF.



Written by
Team Affinidi

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