How does Sovrin work?

December 8, 2018

The Sovrin Network consists of server nodes located around the world hosted and administered by a diverse group of trusted entities called Stewards. Each node contains a copy of the ledger, a record of publicly accessed information needed to verify the validity of credentials issued within the network.

In Sovrin, Stewards cross reference each transaction to assure consistency about what information is written on the ledger and in what order. This is done with a combination of cryptography and a Redundant Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm.

Identity holders, credential issuers, and verifying entities access these services on the Sovrin Network using Agents. Agents can be as simple as a mobile app and have the important job to hold and process claims on the Sovrin Network. Agents can perform identity transactions on the identity owner’s behalf and exchange information directly with other agents  with secure encrypted connections to each other. This way, only public identifiers of an issuer are anchored on the ledger, but an identity holder’s actual proof of their credential is privately transmitted to a validator. Sovrin has specific instructions and developed code for the creation of these agents, so different agents from a variety of developers may all work together within the Network. This allows every person, organization, and thing to interoperate.

Sovrin allows the sharing of trustable digital credentials. The Sovrin Network is designed to be private by design on a global scale by using pairwise pseudonymous identifiers, peer-to-peer interactions, and allow selective disclosure of personal data using zero-knowledge proofs.

Simply put, when an identity holder decides to share a verifiable credential with a relying entity using the Sovrin Network, they create a proof containing only the specific information that was requested using a combination of elements from any of their verifiable credentials in their digital wallet. The verifier only learns the information that was shared and nothing else. The verifier cannot take the learned information and prove who it came from.

Using the Sovrin Network, each person, organization, or IOT device that validates the identity holder’s proof can be completely confident that the proof or information being relayed is accurate and timely. Businesses can also avoid the regulatory burdens associated from storing mass amounts of customer data which could be stolen or misused.

Learn more about Use Cases.

Learn more about what can and can’t be written to the public ledger.

« »