Decentralized Identifier (DID)

Understanding Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs)

Decentralized Identifiers, or DIDs, are unique identifiers that provide a trust framework based on cryptographic verification without needing a centralized registration authority.

They are designed to identify individuals, organizations, abstract entities, data models, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Empowering Identity Control

The main goal of DIDs is to restore identity control to internet users, allowing them to generate unique identifiers using trusted systems.

By incorporating cryptographic proofs like digital signatures for authentication, individuals and organizations can benefit from secure, private, and seamless data exchange facilitated by blockchain‘s distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Enhancing Identity Management

However, with the DID framework, users can store accepted identifiers, such as government-issued certificates, educational and tax certificates, and other personally identifiable information (PII), in a secure and private digital wallet.

Instead of relying on a central authority, a blockchain-based distributed ledger is the source of all identifiers stored in the wallet.

The identification information is stored in a user-managed wallet, empowering individuals to selectively share parts of their identity with different services as needed.

Unlike the centralized approach, users can present only the necessary information to any entity, such as a website or app.

These entities can then verify the authenticity of the proofs through the blockchain-based ledger.

The DID Framework

The core concept of a Decentralized Identifier, as defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), revolves around a simple text string consisting of three parts:

  1. The DID URI scheme identifier, is stored on-chain.
  2. The DID method identifier.
  3. The DID method-specific identifier.

Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs)

In a global key-value database, DIDs are associated with compatible blockchains like Ethereum, which host DID Documents containing public keys, service endpoints, and authentication protocols.

DIDs act as keys, and the DID Documents act as values, describing specific data models that facilitate cryptographically verifiable interactions with the identified entities within the decentralized ecosystem.