September 27, 2019
By Daniel Bluhm, Associate Software Engineer, Sovrin Foundation
I recently had the opportunity to represent the Sovrin Foundation at Rebooting the Web of Trust IX. The conference was held at a very unique location: a three-story coffee shop in the heart of Prague that only accepts bitcoin payments, with kiosks on each floor to exchange fiat for crypto, and the words “Institute of Cryptoanarchy” proudly displayed on both the exterior and interior.
It was an impressive combination of the history of Prague and technology, old and new, that ultimately suited the conference and attendees remarkably well; I was surrounded by both pioneers in the space (some with more years of experience in the field than I do on Earth) and newcomers with fresh perspectives attending for the first time. We were a diverse group, with a strong showing of attendees from Europe and from all around the world, all working towards the same goal of progressing decentralized digital identity.
A major topic that was on everyone’s minds was interoperability. Momentum is building in decentralized identity; during the proceedings of the conference, we received news that the DID Working Group has officially formed at the W3C, officially placing the DID specification on the standards track. The number of registered DID methods is steadily increasing and each method often represents the interest of many organizations. With so much momentum, how we can coordinate efforts across communities and DID methods overarched many of the selected topics.
While there is still much to be done to achieve interoperability, significant progress was made on key topics such as the DID resolution specification, Aries Encryption Envelope JWE Compliance, and identifying overlap between projects and areas for future collaboration.
While none of the topics selected for papers focused specifically on Agents, during the conference I was able to have several conversations across multiple groups on the status of Identity Agents. With recent rapid progress in the Indy Agent then Hyperledger Aries, many had questions ranging from the architecture of Identity Agents to how they fit into the wider decentralized digital identity infrastructure.
Overall, my biggest takeaway from this Rebooting the Web of Trust is that while there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve interoperability, the collective decentralized digital identity community has both the motivation and the manpower to make it happen. The nearly universal spirit of collaboration and open-mindedness was extremely encouraging, and I am excited to see the papers and other work being produced as a result of the collaboration and discussions that happened in Prague.
To see a list of the upcoming events that Sovrin Foundation will be attending, go to https://sovrin.org/newsroom/.« The Sovrin Foundation announces a new Task Force on Compliance and Payments Use case spotlight: Quick SSI integration for identity and access management with IdRamp »