Digital identity by Canow
Canow is a main contributor to AIre ecosystem and drive development of ARX chain. Subsequent successful development of data banking PoC, Canow has now initiated research and PoC development for digital identity. Digital identity is crucial for building real word business with public blockchains because it serves an entry point to networks and can be used to prove identity claims.
This article will talk about how Canow plan to use digital identity in AIre for verifiable credentials to enable a wide range of use cases.
First, it’s necessary to clarity a few concepts.
What are traditional credentials?
A credential is usually a proof of something about ourselves and as you will see it’s something you use very often. Here’s a few examples:
- Identity documents such as passport and MyNumber (Japan) enable us to travel
- Profession certificates such a lawyer, accountant, and doctor license to prove capability prove our capability to perform a job
- Driver’s license is used to assert that we can operate a motor vehicle
- University degree diplomas can be used to assert our level of education
Credentials can be used for many different purposes and we often carry them in a physical format. They are issued by an entity such as government and tell something about us. We can present the credential to prove something.
Problems with traditional credentials
- Easy to fake
- Other people can impersonate you
- Can be lost or damaged
- Expensive to create and issue
- Difficult to verify, both offline and online
- Can’t scale
- Often disclose more personal information than needed e.g. why do the bouncer at the club need to see your home address? He only needs to know that you are more than 18 years old!
What are verifiable credentials?
A tamper-evident credential that has authorship that can be cryptographically verified. Verifiable credentials can be used to build verifiable presentations, which can also be cryptographically verified. The claims in a credential can be about different subjects.
In other words, verifiable credentials are the claims that we use in digital identity such as a verifiable driver’s license through blockchain technology.
Roles involved with digital identity
Typically, you will find three roles involved when dealing with digital identity and verifiable credentials:
- Issuer: They create and issue credentials e.g. Japan government with MyNumber
- Owner: They receive, hold and present credentials with Verifiers e.g. Japanese citizen
- Verifier: They receive and verify proof from Owners e.g. Employer
How does blockchain fit in?
When issuer issue credentials the proofs will be written to the blockchain so the verifier can verify the credential on the blockchain when the owner presents it.
Advantages with verifiable credentials
- All digital, under the true owner’s control
- High scalability
- Difficult to fake and impersonate
- Enables minimum disclosure of personal information
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