This library contains white papers, research materials and guides created
by the Sovrin Foundation, along with links to relevant third-party produced documentation


Sovrin Basics

Distributed ledger identification systems in the humanitarian sector

By Aiden Slavin
Commissioned by the I4A Council and the Sovrin Foundation, this report examines identification management systems in the humanitarian sector that use distributed ledger technology (DLT).
August 2019

How DIDs, Keys, Credentials, and Agents Work in Sovrin

By Daniel Hardman

This document shows how low-level building blocks of the Sovrin ecosystem function in a practical real-world scenario where key management concerns matter deeply. It also introduces some notation and terminology. It makes heavy use of concepts described in the formal sequence diagrams and exposition from DKMS Design and Architecture V2.
April 2018

How Sovrin Works

By Phillip J. Windley
Sovrin is an open-source identity network built on distributed ledger technology. Sovrin is public and permissioned. Public means everyone can use it. Permissioned means that the network nodes that ensure consensus of transactions on the ledger are governed, in this case by the nonprofit ​Sovrin Foundation​. Some illustrated practical examples of key Sovrin features in action.
October 2016

Innovation Meets Compliance

By The Sovrin Foundation
This position paper analyzes whether and how the GDPR applies to us, the Sovrin Foundation, in our role as an administrator and participant in the Sovrin Network. It assess whether and how the GDPR applies to other participants in the Sovrin Network, including the Stewards, Transaction Authors, Transaction Endorsers, Agencies, Developers, Holders, Issuers, and Verifiers.
January 2020

Inevitable Rise of Self-Sovereign Identity

Why Sovrin represents the solution to identity challenges. This whitepaper explains why the Internet does not currently have an identity layer and how the emergence of distributed ledger technology (DLT) finally makes one possible.
March 27 2018

On Guardianship in Self-Sovereign Identity

By Sovrin Guardianship Task Force
This report explores why digital guardianship is a core principle in the Sovrin Governance Framework and a core feature of the Sovrin Network and other SSI architectures.
November 2019

Sovrin: Digital Identities in the Blockchain Era

By Dmitry Khovratovich and Jason Law
This is the original paper that describes the core ideas behind the Sovrin Network and how they implement self-sovereign identity at a global scale.
December 2016

Sovrin Network: What Goes on the Ledger?

By Andrew Tobin
A white paper from Evernym in cooperation with the Sovrin Foundation. An overview of what is on the Sovrin Network distributed ledger and why.
September 2018

Sovrin: A Protocol and Token for Self-Sovereign Identity and Decentralized Trust

A comprehensive, highly readable 40 page paper describing the complete Sovrin ecosystem, including the problems Sovrin is designed to solve; why it is designed to be a global public utility; how the overall architecture is designed for for resilience, privacy and scalability; the markets it is expected to impact.
January 2018

What if I lose my phone?

By Daniel Hardman

What happens when my device is stolen? What happens if I forget my private key? What happens when my private keys are compromised or lost? This document will explore multiple scenarios when an identity holder loses control of their cloud agent through theft, hack or forgetfulness.
March 2019

Self-Sovereign Identity & IoT

By Sovrin SSI and IoT Task Force
This report addresses some of the current business and security challenges in IoT as it relates to self-sovereign identity (SSI).
August 2020



Foundational Documents

Sovrin Governance Framework (formerly the Sovrin Trust Framework)

The constitution of the Sovrin Network—specifies the business, legal, and technical policies governing Sovrin as a global public utility.
The Sovrin Governance Framework V2 is now in public review—see this page.
The original Sovrin Provisional Trust Framework was published on 28 Jun 2017.

Getting Started with Sovrin

A technical orientation guide using the Sovrin Command Line Interface.

Steward Agreement

The current agreement in force between the Sovrin Foundation and the trusted organizations operating validator nodes on the Sovrin network.
The new Sovrin Steward Agreement is now in public review—see this page.
The current Sovrin Steward Agreement was published on 28 Jun 2017.

Sovrin Glossary

Defines 254 terms used in self-sovereign identity infrastructure. This is the official glossary used by all documents in the Sovrin Governance Framework—it was most recently approved by the Sovrin Board of Trustees on 04 December 2019. Includes eight illustrated appendices (33 pages) that describe core terms in detail.