Sphereon to Receive Grant for Decentralized Identifiers

Written by TJ

On August 26, 2022

Accumulate governance committees are working toward approving the first grant for a Decentralized Identifiers project by Sphereon.

The use of blockchain technology for enabling decentralized digital identity solutions is quickly gaining traction as a mainstream alternative to traditional centralized systems. 

In July, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced that Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v1.0 is now a new Web standard.

W3C is a renowned global organization led by the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, and CEO Jeffrey Jaffe. It is dedicated to developing new standards for the Web in order to help the internet achieve its full potential. 

This is a major development for the introduction of DIDs to the broader open source community. The aim of Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v1.0 is to enable individuals and organizations to take more control of their online information and relationships while also providing greater security and privacy. 

As is highlighted in the press release, lack of ownership of one’s own data limits the ability of users to migrate to different social networks or email providers without incurring high switching costs. DIDs remove these barriers while also increasing one’s ability to conceal or verify personal data through cryptography. 

Accumulate is at the forefront of the initiative to bring DID solutions to the mainstream. The Accumulate protocol has its own form of DID called an Accumulated Digital Identifier (or ADI). Accumulate Digital Identifiers (ADI) are human-readable addresses similar to website URLs that are chosen by individuals or assigned by organizations to represent their presence on the blockchain. 

ADIs enable more flexibility and deployment of complex operations by issuing a hierarchy of keys with different permissions or levels of security. 

The use cases for ADIs are virtually limitless. Some examples of the potential for this technology include creating a universal identity layer for blockchain networks to achieve cross-chain interoperability, establishing reputation-based systems for uncollateralized or under collateralized lending, and developing a framework for governments, foundations, and large enterprises to conduct operations on-chain using authorization schemes, and forming a communication standard for existing web2 social media companies to enable their users to synchronize their accounts across platforms. 

Central to all of these solutions is the need for a DID framework that is easy to adopt by any individual or entity regardless of what prior standards have already been adopted. 

Accumulate aims to solve the problem of multiple disparate identity solutions in the market by partnering with existing digital identity providers in order to consolidate these services under one universal identity layer that can most accurately represent both the traditional economy and the Web3 space in its entirety. 

This will enable an ADI to serve as a single source of truth and a standardized form of accounting for all on-chain and off-chain activities that the identity holder has participated in and for all digitally native and digitized (or tokenized) assets that they hold.

Sphereon DID Development

Sphereon is an organization in the Accumulate ecosystem that works to further DID technology. Sphereon is a technology company that leverages blockchain technology to build data exchange solutions for Public Administration, Healthcare, Clinical Trials, Mobility, Education, and other industries. 

Sphereon’s aim is to advance the capacity for DIDs to solve problems for businesses and organizations in the traditional economy. The company recently shared a grant proposal that would enable their customers, which include government agencies, healthcare, pharma, entertainment, and manufacturing companies to explore new use cases on the Accumulate network, particularly with regards to generating and authenticating cryptographic proofs for different types of information. 

One example of this is a Know Your Customer (KYC) services provider, which would use Accumulate to connect with DID providers in order to improve the process of verifying user identities by creating verifiable credentials for those users that can be hosted on the Accumulate Network. 

This could open up the possibility for Accumulate to serve as a hub for financial institutions, government agencies, and other organizations to more easily adopt a decentralized identity standard to optimize the KYC verification process.  

Ultimately, the establishment of DIDs as a web standard is proof that mainstream organizations are exploring viable alternatives to centrally controlled systems of identification. These systems carry a higher risk of censorship, greater security vulnerability, and are less efficient due to operating in silos. 

There are a plethora of industries and sectors of the economy that can benefit from adopting a decentralized identity standard, including banking for KYC, healthcare, and insurance for patient data verification, the public sector for tax reporting and population analysis, and foundations for distributing and tracking aid.  

Accumulate is building the technology infrastructure to support these use cases with the help of partners like Sphereon.

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