February 1, 2019
Last year, Luxoft, a global IT service provider, became a partner to the R3 Corda Network—a platform that enables the interoperable exchange of data and assets. In order to incorporate identity management into Corda, Luxoft developed a program called Cordentity, which integrates Hyperledger Indy’s distributed ledger technology into the Corda platform.
Acting as an identity proxy service, Cordentity makes it so you can easily manage Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) and verifiable claims straight from Corda by using Hyperledger Indy and the Sovrin Network.
Sovrin asked Luxoft’s Blockchain Solutions Architect Todd Gehrke to tell us a bit more:
Q: What is Cordentity and how does it address user privacy?
A: Cordentity is an identity integration program that integrates Hyperledger Indy into the Corda Platform. It runs as a Corda distributed application, or CorDapp, and provides a bridge to exchange verifiable identity data on the Sovrin Network. Sovrin allows users to selectively share aspects of their identity and maintain an audit trail of what was shared with whom and when. It even enables proving characteristics of one’s identity without revealing actual information. For example, you can prove you are over 21 without revealing your age or birthdate.
We needed to integrate the two technologies for many of our solutions. We have published the code to open source to let others see the approach we took and provide feedback. Our goal is to make it easy for everyone to create systems that solve business problems and be able to integrate identity into those systems without starting from scratch every time.
Q: What (other) problem(s) does Cordentity aim to solve?
A: When developing distributed applications there are numerous technology choices, each with their specialized features. We really liked Corda because it’s peer-to-peer, so privacy is straight forward. The built-in “oracle” services make it easy to communicate with external non-deterministic programs, so it’s easy to integrate with incumbent systems. One weakness of Corda is that its doorman identity service is only designed for network permissioning and to maintain a map of nodes. It doesn’t have the features needed for implementing full-featured identity services. Combining the technologies enabled us to integrate sophisticated identity checks such as verifying licenses and certifications into Corda’s flexible flow framework.
Q: Does Luxoft have other solutions based upon Corda’s blockchain?
A: Yes, Luxoft has used Corda for pharmaceutical supply-chain, healthcare revenue-cycle, and a mobility network for vehicle sharing. Corda works well when you need both transparency and privacy. We are finding that being able to isolate transactions to a selected set of participants is a common need in our solutions. Other blockchain platforms are adding private transaction features, but they are not part of the initial design like they are with Corda.
Q: Can you talk a bit about Cordentity’s user base?
A: Cordentity’s user base is the development community. Since publishing Cordentity to open source through the R3 marketplace, we’ve seen lots of interest from the community. They’ve even opened some issues and made suggestions for new features. Cordentity is now available as an open-sourced Hyperledger Labs Project which gives it even more visibility in the development community. Cordentity isn’t the only solution. Tieto, a Nordic software and services company, announced their partnership with R3 and their platform based on combining Indy with Corda. It would be interesting to know if we took the same approach. To be successful as a community, we need to work together and build on each others’ lessons learned.
Q: Is the primary use case for Cordentity healthcare? What other use cases does Cordentity aim to address?
A: Cordentity is an identity plugin that can be used in any industry. It provides the tools to build scalable, secure, privacy-preserving solutions. In our mobility platform, we used a Cordentity-based solution that enabled owners to share their personal transportation vehicles, such as cars, bicycles, and motorcycles. As the owner, you can create criteria for rental contracts to be presented in the form of identity proofs. For example, the renter must be over 25 years old and have a motorcycle license and insurance.
Q: Why was Hyperledger Indy chosen as a foundational technology for Cordentity?
A: Self-sovereign identity and verifiable proofs are powerful tools and an integral component of the solutions we’re building. In the long term, we want to be able to use any self-sovereign identity network. For now, we feel that Hyperledger Indy and Sovrin are driving the adoption of standards.
Q: Do you foresee using the Sovrin Network (Hyperledger Indy) in future work? If so, why?
A: Definitely! We are currently doing projects on an assortment of technology stacks including Corda and Fabric. Hyperledger Indy is a common technology on all of the projects. Sovrin is a fully functional identity network that works across industries.
Q: Why is SSI so important?
A: SSI is the cornerstone of the successful adoption of blockchain systems. The concept of decentralized networks removing intermediaries relies on having a trusted verifiable digital identity.
Mobility will increase the need to share aspects of our identity for using municipal and sharing economy infrastructure. It isn’t feasible to continue down the path of enrollment and onboarding into an assemblage of systems. At the same time, privacy concerns are critical.
SSI provides a mechanism to comply with privacy regulations like GDPR. Self-ownership of one’s identity is beneficial to everybody, it empowers individuals, relieves corporations of liability, and reduces the risk of fraud.
Q: Where do you hope SSI will be with solutions like Cordentity in 5 years?
A: Cordentity is just a mechanism to bridge ledger technologies because we don’t have a standard way to do that yet. In the next five years, I expect we’ll be close to a robust identity protocol standard a lot like SMTP for email. I think there will be a tipping point of mass adoption of self-sovereign identity.
Luxoft’s Cordentity is the introduction of Hyperledger Indy and its privacy-preserving functions to the R3 Corda platform. The identity integration platform has opened the door to a range of business use cases that rely on the privacy and security inherent in self-sovereign identity. To learn more about Cordentity, watch Luxoft’s video or visit https://www.luxoft.com/.« Sovrin Network Expands Global Reach 2018 Yearly Report—Moving Forward »