Evernym joins Hyperledger

Evernym joins Hyperledger

Today it was officially announced that Evernym has joined Hyperledger. It may strike readers familiar with our history as odd to learn that we’ve just now officially become part of the effort, since we are the inventors of Hyperledger Indy, one of the five Hyperledger projects. But this is how it’s worked out.

It might be worth reviewing the history of Indy.

Evernym was originally conceived as a top to bottom self sovereign identity (SSI) solution, encompassing everything from the application to a proprietary distributed ledger and everything in between.

One of the core principles of SSI is the idea that a user’s identity must remain forever under her control and never be subject to the whims, weaknesses nor future prospects of any centralized entity. That being the case, the idea that even we be in control of the ledger to which users’ decentralized identifiers be written was inconsistent with our mission.

Thus, in the fall of 2015 we decided to find the best way to make the ledger truly independent, and recognized that the solution was to give it away. At the time we didn’t know exactly what that meant, apart from the fact that we would be turning the ledger into a global public utility upon which any entity (including future Evernym competitors) could build their own SSI applications.

The first step was to create the Sovrin Foundation and turn control of the ledger software over to this non-profit. Then, in the winter of 2016, the suggestion was made to turn the Sovrin code over to Hyperledger. A few months later, the process was complete and Hyperledger Project Indy was born.

‘Indy’, as an aside, got its name by virtue of its goal of achieving a truly independent distributed ledger for SSI applications. And indeed, it was the high value we place on its independence that kept Evernym from joining Hyperledger until now. We felt that our pride as the creators of Indy might cause us to exert inappropriate influence over its initial formative stages. And thus we maintained a very active interest in Hyperledger goings on, and even took steps to stimulate developer participation in the open source project, but otherwise kept our distance.

Today the Sovrin Foundation and Indy are standing quite capably on their own two feet, which helps us feel very comfortable participating in Hyperledger directly. As alluded to earlier, this puts us in the seemingly awkward position of working to promote an ecosystem serving not only our own applications but also those of competitors. Yet we find this gratifying as it will bring the world better SSI technology and speed along the process of broad-based adoption of the Sovrin protocols.

The possibilities awaiting Hyperledger and Indy are limitless. And we look forward to being part of the process.