Drummond Reed is the Chief Trust Officer at Evernym; Trustee at the Sovrin Foundation; and Co-Editor of the W3C DID Specification. During this innovation lecture, Drummond tells us why there is so much market momentum behind decentralized identity, also known as “SSI” (self-sovereign identity) and how a four-layer architectural stack called the Trust over IP (ToIP) stack establishes trust between peers over the Internet and other digital networks. The stack also combines technical interoperability with policy interoperability to create a complete digital trust architecture. In a nutshell, the verifiable credential trust triangle works like this:
The holder of a verifiable credential sits at the center of a triangle of trust, mediating between issuer and verifier. Verifiers learn with certainty which issuers have attested something by checking digital signatures against a verifiable data registry (typically, a blockchain). The issuer and holder trust each other, the holder trusts the verifier, and the verifier trusts the issuer. Any role in the triangle can be played by a person, an institution, or an IoT device. This all provides decentralization, flexibility, and freedom.
Listen to the lecture here to learn what market problems the ToIP stack can solve.