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Playlist "PrivacyWeek 2018"

Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs)

Markus Sabadello

Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) are a core building block for a completely new approach to digital identity.

Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) are an important innovation in the emerging so-called "self-sovereign" digital identity community. Identifiers such as names and numbers have always been the basis for any identity and communications systems, and while historically identifiers have been issued and controlled by central authorities, blockchains and other technologies today provide the ability for individuals, organizations, and things to register identifiers in a "self-sovereign" way, i.e. with decentralization and privacy "built-in".

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) will standardize this technology, and the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) has started a community effort to implement open-source components. These will serve as building blocks for a new kind of digital identity infrastructure that functions without any intermediary or central authority. Many large companies and small startups are supporting this effort, including e.g. IBM, Microsoft, Sovrin, Blockstack, uPort, Veres One, and others.

In this presentation, we will introduce and demonstrate the concept of Decentralized Identifiers, talk about the communities that are building and using them, and discuss how they relate to other ongoing efforts in the self-sovereign identity community.