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Introduction to SSI (Self-Sovereign Identity)

Self-sovereign identity (SSI) embodies a conceptual framework wherein the digital sphere duly recognizes and upholds an individual’s fundamental entitlement to both ownership and governance over their personal identity, devoid of any intermediation by administrative authorities. SSI thus bestows upon individuals the agency to navigate the virtual domain with a parallel autonomy and the aptitude to foster trust, analogous to their interactions within the physical realm, as expounded by The Sovrin Foundation.

Mechanics of SSI

Functionally, SSI equips governmental bodies and businesses to issue digital identity documents through “Verifiable Credentials” to citizens, users, and relevant stakeholders. These credentials encompass a wide spectrum, ranging from passports to academic certificates and transport tickets. Stored and managed within digital wallets, these credentials can be verifiably authenticated by recipients.

Technically, SSI involves a spectrum of fundamental components, including Trust Registries, cryptographic keys, Decentralized Identifiers, Verifiable Credentials, and authentication protocols. These serve as modular building blocks that can be flexibly arranged to configure varied implementations of SSI. Consequently, gaining a foundational grasp of these technologies is of paramount significance.

Verifiable credentials Verifiable Credentials, often abbreviated as VCs, encompass tamper-evident credentials that undergo cryptographic validation.

The fundamental constituents of verifiable credentials are as follows:

  • Machine Verifiability: They possess the attribute of being subject to mechanical verification.

  • Security and Tamper-Evidence: They ensure a high degree of security and resistance against unauthorized modifications.

  • Issued by Competent Authorities: VCs are exclusively issued by authoritative entities proficient in the respective domain.

Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) serve as the foundational building blocks of Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI).Functioning as a distinct classification of unique identifiers (URI),designed to empower entities with the capability to create and manage their own unique digital identifiers in a decentralized manner.