Identity.com progress in 2019 – Q1 and Q2 updates

News

For the first half of 2019, we have been heads down focused on perfecting the use cases, building more toolkits and code that is getting ready to be open-sourced. While Civic has gathered tremendous momentum during the first half of 2019, we wanted to share the latest news with Identity.com. 

At Identity.com, because we are building the New Identity Economy, we’ve made strides to reintroduce ourselves to the identity verification community. 

Earlier this spring, we were honored to be selected, along with other companies that are building and introducing exciting technologies, as an SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards Finalist. We were very happy to see privacy and identity data protection to be in such high focus at SXSW. We also observed how the industry is working to make technology more human-friendly and trustworthy. We also worked hard to publish the Identity.com smart contracts on the Ethereum Mainnet, putting us closer toward our goal of fully open-sourcing Identity.com. And, we continued to gain awareness by securing 110 mentions in the press, 13 of them with top tier publications.

Technical Progress

Our code repository on Github contains a lot of technical progress updates. If you would like to contribute or participate, reviewing code and submitting issues is the best way to ensure your feedback is incorporated.

We’ve always been transparent about our roadmap on Identity.com, and recent changes are summarized here to more accurately reflect our timeline to date. Generally speaking, you’ll notice that over the first half of 2019, we’ve made room for more updates with endpoint implementations like Civic, in order to prove the first use cases for the toolkits we have provisioned for Identity.com. This shift in priorities meant we had to postpone publishing the Validation Module code for the Identity Validator Toolkit and the Credential Wallet Toolkit code to Q3 of 2019.

Validator Functionality Expansion

Originally, we wanted to allow validators more flexibility by allowing them dynamically convert CVC and fiat currencies in their identity.com processes and set fiat prices that are automatically converted to CVCs in their identity.com processes. However values in our smart contract are set in dollars, which are converted to CVCs, so we are now only allowing validators to set fiat prices that auto-convert to CVCs. The expanded version of functionality has been moved to 2020.

Currently, Civic is acting as the backup for identity validators within the marketplace, and we are opening this functionality to other identity validators so that they may offer their validation directly to Requesters in a B2B solution. This has been moved to Q4 2019 because the need for backup is currently being met by Civic.

In the past 6 months, we’ve removed not only roadmap items but added a few important milestones for Identity.com. One new feature we’ve added to the roadmap is for the marketplace to support validation evidence, including documents, images, and photo identification, in presentation requests. These requirements did not previously exist, as the marketplace was initially built on static scope requests, with fixed definitions. We want to enable requesters, users, and validators to operate with verified identity by only sharing the minimum information required for identity verification transactions, so we focused on implementing verified credentials paired with validation evidence.

We’ve also started running an ION node, as well as adding an integration with their validators to the roadmap because we wanted to interconnect with Microsoft’s decentralized platform. 

In the past few months, Identity.com has expanded its functionality to include two Civic-powered operators on the marketplace, which will plug into our existing infrastructure, in order to test our toolkit before it is released. Finally, we’re getting ready to make available the first Identity Verification Toolkit for all Validators, operational with government ID, documentation, email, and phone validation and currently in use with Onfido.

We want to make it as easy as possible to implement our toolkits. That’s why we will be publishing a sample IDV Validator Toolkit in the code repository later in 2019.

Interoperability Expansion

Our team has been working hard at creating an ecosystem that puts interoperability at its core and credential interoperability with other SSI Network Implementations is critical. We have been developing our toolkits and infrastructure to be compatible with verifiable credentials and with DID standards, both widely adopted by the broader identity community and recognized by the W3C. 

A blockchain anchoring license agreement will need to be created for Identity.com users to use ChainAuth™. Without the licensing agreement, the Identity Validator Toolkit cannot easily be created, so this dependency has been accounted for by its new placement in the roadmap. Similarly, another dependency to ChainAuth licensing, building the Credential Wallet Toolkit, has also been moved.

We’ll also integrate the first Identity Validators from the ION Network so that a network of validators can augment the identity.com marketplace. 

Non-Profit Status and Governance

As you know, we already have a first Executive Director for Identity.com and in Q4, we’ll be establishing the governance framework for Identity.org, the non-profit that will steer the decentralized identity ecosystem. 

Marketplace Full Functionality

In Q1 of 2020, we are exploring ways to decentralize storage independent of devices, using innovations like  IPFS, a decentralized storage file system, to secure shared storage for verifiable credentials to increase portability across devices and apps. We’ll also implement our token staking model, to develop trust inside our ecosystem, as originally described in our Token Behavior Model whitepaper.

Community Work

We started getting more and more involved in the identity community last year and following our commitment then, we’ve contributed two white papers to the identity verification community toward an interoperable, portable, collaborative and decentralized future. The first, published in February, models use-cases for higher solution interoperability and robust specifications. The second, published in May, lays out the case for how self-sovereign identity will survive capitalism, using examples from healthcare data sharing.

We’ve also shared a preview of the Identity.com Validator Toolkit, complete with a demo from one of our validators, Onfido and the ZoOm face mapping technology. We’ve also shared how to reboot a web of trust with a meeting about self-sovereign identity in Berlin. As an active member of the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), we have shared a credential manifest and an overview of credential implementations.

FCAS Rating

We want to make sure the community is up to date with our progress and we have been working with the team at Flipside Crypto to provide them with the right inputs for their FCAS ratings. The CVC related rating includes both Identity.com and Civic activity. We score high on the developer side and have a lot of code being committed, and we are looking forward to the end of the year when we expect an increase as Civic Wallet and Identity.com usage grows.

Thank you for being part of our community and we look forward to sharing more news with you soon.