Guardianship and Self-Sovereign Identity

As a new model for internet-scale digital identity, self-sovereign identity (SSI) moves beyond centralized “identity providers” by creating an infrastructure enabling anyone to issue, hold, and verify digital credentials signed with cryptographic private keys.

As powerful as this is, it limits the direct use of SSI to individuals who have digital access and legal capacity.

For SSI to work for everyone else will require individuals and organizations to serve as digital guardians. This is the focus of guardianship at the Sovrin Foundation.


In a collaborative effort over 2019, the Sovrin Foundation Guardianship Task Force produced a groundbreaking whitepaper on guardianship and SSI.

The open and public volunteer body of the Sovrin Governance Framework Working Group examined:

  • Why digital guardianship is a core principle for the Sovrin Network and other SSI architectures
  • How guardianship fits in with both legal and technical architectures
  • How it works from inception to termination
  • What risks digital guardianship entails

Guardianship Whitepaper

Join the Sovrin Foundation Guardianship Working Group

The Sovrin Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the new Guardianship Working Group.

This new Working Group will focus on the specific challenges of implementing digital guardianship across SSI ecosystems.

This includes:

  • The technical underpinnings (guardianship and delegation credentials)
  • Legal foundations (guardianship contracts)
  • Business drivers (economic models for guardianship)

This all-volunteer Working Group is open to anyone with a genuine interest in and willingness to contribute to digital guardianship.

Join Us!