Recently, we were guests at the Blockchain Alliance Europe event, which focused on blockchain technology application for business purposes. The event was our opportunity to address more than 200 registered participants from more than ten countries and present our views on the rising challenges in the digital landscape today. What is more important, we introduced the solutions we have developed to tackle them.
The fact that a greater digitalization of services is needed is not something new. However, the pandemic has made us even more aware of it. For this reason, our lecture focused on a crucial element that is needed to enable a further expansion and growth of safe and secure online services.
Jan, who is a blockchain developer and IT project manager in the field of blockchain, distributed storage and distributed computing at our company, introduced Self-Sovereign Identity. This new and easy solution dramatically improves the way we communicate and transact online.
Here are the key takeaways, and what is best, you can now watch the entire lecture too.
First, Jan has walked the audience through the challenges the users have when they interact with the online services today:
Problem 1: CENTRAL AUTHORITY CONTROLS ALL DATA
An average user today has between 70 to 80 passwords. That is a lot of information to remember. Consequently, services such as Facebook and Google offer us an easy way out by enabling users to login with the same credentials as they use for interacting with them. In return, the services get free user data and behaviour patterns.
Problem 2: NUMEROUS SIGNUPS WITH SAME DATA
Above mentioned is also one of the reasons the businesses today store and manage their users’ private data, even there is no real need to do so. The real issue here is that the personal data of their customer base is stored in one place, leading to possible hacks, data breaches and data misuse.
Problem 3: INCONVENIENCE OF ONLINE FORMS
The fact that each business or a service store and manages users’ data leads to the next inconvenience. That is, the user must repeatedly share the set of his/her personal information to each new service they wish to use. SSI can significantly improve this challenge by reversing the logic. That way, each user allows the companies access to their data in an efficient, verifiable and secure manner.
In short, SSI is an electronic ID for natural persons, legal entities and devices that offers them complete control over how others use their data. In other words, it combines the convenience of Google or Facebook logins with the principles of decentralization.
However, for this data to be legally recognizable, SSI has to be accepted by a legal entity (e. g. KYC, government, bank), although that is not necessary. Meaning, if the data is not verified, it has the same value as identifying with an e-mail has today.
What is also important to remember, SSI uses the same protocols (OpenID Connect) that already exist today, meaning that it doesn’t require any significant investment or an infrastructure change.
Best of all, SSI brings tremendous benefits and opportunities:
– Natural persons and legal entities interact in the digital world with the same freedom and capacities as in the offline world (e. g. signing, authorizing documents, validating signatures, communicating privately etc.)
– Data is stored privately on a user device and not replicated numerous times across the digital world.
In other words, when a user “shares” data, it shares only the access to his/her data. And, as easy as one can do that, they can also revoke it (unless they are legally bound to share it for a certain period).
To explain that, Jan has prepared a quick demo. For a first-time login into a web service, a user gets a QR-code that he/she can scan with an AceID mobile app. Doing so, one can automatically see which data is required (and which is optional) to login into the service. Then, the user authorizes the web service and shares them the information accordingly.
Watching this, you can be sure that filling a form will never be faster!
SSI is not a distant future. With our business partners, many solutions are being developed as we speak, including:
First, think about bank cards. One can use any ATM to withdraw money regardless of the card and its issuer. A similar possibility is not very common in the offline world, let alone in the digital one. What effect does this have on the e-mobility? In this area, the charging station manufacturers usually use their protocols, meaning that users have to onboard anew for every new charging station provider. To change that, our business partner Gen-I wishes to introduce a similar principle of universality and interoperability in the field of e-mobility. And, to enable a secure communication and data exchange among different stakeholders, we gave SSI (e-ID) to natural persons, legal persons, charging stations and data replication devices which can now interact in an SSI-way. Even charing stations benefit, as they have a shorter time to market and onboarding of users.
SSI identity is also being used in a project Tourism 4.0 where it will ensure that tourists can access to various services and offers through one secure point, and also make a seamless payment. For a comprehensive view of the project, we suggest you to watch the following video.
The main idea behind the SSI is that it can be easily integrated with security built-in, enabling various applications in industries and sectors. For that, SSI is already being tested by the world’s largest companies and discussed at the EU level to ensure interoperability and simplify cross-border services.
EBSI and eSSIF initiatives by the EU union for all European eID
We have become expert advisors to the EBSI and eSSIF projects, in which SSI is considered as an ideal solution for the eID. Using SSI, there is no need for numerous user names or passwords, and what is more, it can be integrated easily with the use of the already existing protocols.
A trusted internet
SSI could enable the future in which every web communication is cryptographically signed to verify user identity.
As you can see, there are countless possible applications and use cases for SSI, from facilitating online payments, to helping businesses personalize services and enable secure communication, all in a way that protects an individual’s data and sovereignty.
Feel free to contact us for more information at [email protected].
AceBlock is a blockchain technology framework which enables companies to develop innovative solutions on top of our modular infrastructure. One of its critical ready-made building blocks is AceID, with which any holder can present verifiable credentials everywhere online
AceID is based on a concept of an SSI (Self-Sovereign-Identity) which promotes that digital identity becomes a right for every individual. Because it is portable, it allows online privacy and free movement between different web providers or services from one point, which is possible only when the individual becomes the owner of the data.
Give it a try and contact us at [email protected] for more.