Launching Identity.com on the Ethereum Mainnet

Opinion

We’re getting closer to our goal of open-sourcing Identity.com, and we want to start sharing updates and resources with our community more frequently.

At Identity.com, we envision a world where everyone has a digital identity that they control and where people decide how and when they share information to prove who they are. Identity.com will be the foundation for that new identity future. It will be a marketplace where businesses and individuals around the world can transact for identity verification services. As we’re building this ecosystem, we want to be transparent about our process and share the Identity.com story and the path forward for the ecosystem.

In October 2018, we launched the first Identity.com smart contracts on the Ethereum Mainnet, and today, we’re sharing more about what that means.

What is the Ethereum Mainnet?

A mainnet is the central production network of any blockchain project, so the Ethereum Mainnet is the central production network for the Ethereum blockchain. This term was specifically introduced to distinguish the chain holding the production data from any other deployed instance. A production network is where live data is stored, meaning it is the code that makes the project operational. This is opposed to a staging network or testing network, where code is deployed solely for testing purposes and allows developers to test their blockchain technology safely. A mainnet deployment or mainnet release is when a company moves code from a testing environment to a production environment. It is a pivotal step in taking a blockchain project from ideation to implementation.

Identity.com does not have a dedicated or proprietary blockchain, so Identity.com operates and releases smart contracts on top of Ethereum. The Identity.com marketplace was operating on Rinkeby, one of the Ethereum testnets, until the engineering and product teams were ready to make the move to Ethereum Mainnet.

Launching the first Identity.com smart contracts on Ethereum Mainnet

On October 10, 2018, we launched the first Identity.com smart contracts on the Ethereum Mainnet.  Identity.com smart contracts are now deployed and are the infrastructure that enable identity ‘Requesters’ and identity ‘Validators’ to transact for identity verification services on the Identity.com marketplace. If you want to learn more about how Identity.com functions and the various ecosystem participants, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Identity.com blog post.

For Identity.com, this mainnet release is like a restaurant with an open kitchen. People who are interested can sit at the bar and observe how things are prepared and plated, but at this point, we’re still the only chefs allowed in the kitchen. Once we deploy toolkits for ecosystem participants,  more chefs can come in the kitchen and join the works.

This is the first stage, of many, as we work towards a completely open identity ecosystem.

This release will enable Civic to be both a Requester and Validator in the Identity.com ecosystem, enabling Civic to fully showcase how Identity.com works before opening up access to more businesses and organizations. With this release, people are able to observe how CVC tokens are being moved in the Identity.com ecosystem and how identity verification corresponds with CVC movement. We released the smart contract code on GitHub in September, but deploying the smart contracts on mainnet enables people to see the contracts live and in execution.

Everything we have published on mainnet is publically visible, with our open-sourced smart contracts being deployed behind a proxy pattern. A proxy is what will enable smart contracts to be upgraded, if needed, in the future. Identity.com currently has 5 contracts that are open-sourced and live on the Ethereum Mainnet. You can find more details about our smart contracts here. These smart contracts determine the rules of engagement for the ecosystem and how participants interact within Identity.com.

Building the Decentralized Identity Future  

We’re building Identity.com to be a global,  open-source identity ecosystem, and transparency is important as we’re developing a platform that will soon be open to organizations around the world. Putting smart contracts on the Ethereum Mainnet is the first step in building Identity.com’s decentralized governance system. These smart contracts provide guidelines for escrow, validator registry, smart contract pricing, and ontology updates that will enable the marketplace to run without the need for a controlling third party.

As we continue to build out the toolkits for Requesters, Validators, and Users (through Credentials Wallets), more functionality will be unlocked for anyone that wants to take part in the Identity.com ecosystem. We’ll keep you updated.