SSI Roundup: June 2020

Below is a copy of our June 2020 newsletter, The SSI Roundup. To get the best SSI headlines, events, and resources sent straight to your inbox each month, subscribe below:


The Self-Sovereign Identity Roundup Newsletter: June 2020

The Self-Sovereign Identity Roundup: June 2020

Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year?

It’s been an eventful six months, to say the least. We’ve seen self-sovereign identity and portable credentials take a giant leap forward, in no small part due to the catalysts of COVID-19 and the heightened need for a digital trust infrastructure. The Trust over IP Foundation, which we helped set up just over a month ago, has already passed 100 members, and we’re seeing a surge of interest from governments, enterprises, and startups from around the world.

In this newsletter, we’re covering some of the highlights from the past month—including further developments around COVID-19 credentials, updates from our work within the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, and a look at how CULedger, Mastercard, and LG CNS are thinking about digital identity.

We’ve also just announced our next webinar, which will focus on how digital credentials can be used to power passwordless multi-factor authentication and true single sign-on. We’d love to have you join us:

Our top 10 picks from June 2020

1. Digital ID experts from Evernym, CULedger, and Mastercard weigh in on safe credentials

Last month, we hosted CULedger and Mastercard for a panel discussion on what makes a digital credential ‘safe’ and the benefits safe credentials provide organizations and consumers alike. It was a jam-packed session, with over 300 registrations and one of our most active audience Q&A sessions yet.

If you missed the event, you can find the main takeaways on the Evernym Blog and the full recording on our YouTube channel.

Panelists for our recent webinar on safe credentials


2. Nonconformist Innovation launches inaugural digital identity summit

If you’re like us and missing the normal conference circuit (with events like KNOW Identity 2020 getting pushed back), we’d highly recommend registering for the inaugural Non-Conformist Innovation Summit tomorrow, Thursday, July 2.

The free event will feature a “who’s who” of industry experts and a full-day agenda of keynotes and panel discussions covering privacy, data protection, and digital identity.

Speakers include Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Dr. Phil Windley, Evernym’s Drummond Reed, and leaders from 1Kosmos, 3Box, Trinsic, and Starbucks.

Check out the agenda and reserve your spot here.


3. Decentralized identity could replace all login functions, says Evernym Partner, LG CNS

Self-sovereign identity has long been described as a “password killer.” By allowing individuals to hold and port their credentials, rather than ‘renting’ unique credentials from each website or app they use in the form of a centralized username and password, SSI holds the key to enabling a more effortless, trusted digital journey.

And we’re far from the only ones bullish on this use case. South Korean electronics giant LG, with which we announced a partnership with their LG CNS subsidiary last month, recently hinted that “maybe all login functions could be replaced” with an SSI model. 

Read more on Cointelegraph. Or, join our next webinar to learn more about passwordless authentication.


4. How can blockchain help in the time of COVID-19?

In the wake of the recent buzz around COVID-19 credentials, the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain (APPG Blockchain) commissioned an evidence report on how blockchain, and specifically blockchain-based identity solutions, can bolster national security and be used in the fight against COVID-19.

For the report, the APPG interviewed seven subject matter experts, including Evernym’s EMEA Managing Director, Andy Tobin, who discussed the increase in the need for “trust at a distance” and cited the pandemic as a major catalyst for digital transformation.

The first part of the meeting focussed on the uses of blockchain for digital identity, as well as the approaches of the European Union and Estonia Government in this respect. The second part reviewed, blockchain use-cases and applications to support the current fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can read the full report here or view the video interviews here.


5. Fraud in finance: Who can defend our digital identity?

With the pandemic accelerating the move toward a fully digital world, we’ve seen a steady climb in cases of cyber-attacks and online fraud.

This Finextra article examines the rise of fraud in e-commerce and banking services, before presenting self-sovereign identity as a possible solution that would free our own personal information from existing databases and dramatically reduce the implications of a data breach.

The article is full of great stats from Juniper Research and Mitek and can be found on Finextra.


6. Verifiable credentials minus choice equals train wreck

There’s a right and a wrong way to do verifiable credentials.

The right way maximizes choices, and therefore power, for every legitimate party in the ecosystem: large and small businesses, governments, ordinary people with modest access to tech, IoT devices… The right way is safe. It produces good accountability. It stimulates a wide variety of wonderful user experiences. It is synergistic and collaborative and human-centric. It builds organic trust.

The wrong way neuters VCs into a blunt instrument. It is bureaucratic. It forces people to adapt to technology in awkward ways, which creates behavior gaps where hackers and criminals thrive. It makes auditing problematic. It adds risk and compliance burdens for institutions. It feeds lawyers and the surveillance economy. It is, in short, a train wreck.

This article, by Evernym’s chief architect, explores the risks of “unsafe” credentials and the two assumptions we have to carefully consider to design credentials in a way that maximizes privacy, prevents data overcollection, and empowers both organizations and consumers.


7. Trust is the ultimate currency

In an insightful piece on the future of digital identity, our partners at CULedger paint a picture of a world where each individual has full control and ownership of their personal information.

The story proceeds to cover the benefits self-sovereign identity offers for customer experience, relationship building, and the financial services sector at large.

Check it out on CULedger’s MemberPass Blog.


8. Self-sovereign identity successfully trialed for KYC in UK regulatory sandbox

For the past year, Evernym has been working alongside Onfido, Deloitte, and a host of UK FinTechs to test the benefits of portable credentials through the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s regulatory sandbox. And today, we’re pleased to announce the successful results of this trial, which brings us one step closer to mainstream adoption.

Commenting on the trial, Onfido CEO Husayn Kassai stated:

“This pilot was instrumental in proving that portable identity significantly improves both consumer experience and protection while accelerating customer onboarding and reducing KYC and compliance-related costs for financial institutions.”

For more on the FCA trial and what it means for SSI, check out the coverage by Ledger Insights.


9. The second generation of Trustees take their seats on the Sovrin Board

As you may be aware, the Sovrin Foundation has been undergoing a three-month transition into a more volunteer-centric model to better leverage the contributions of a rapidly growing developer community. 

As part of this transition, the Sovrin Foundation recently welcomed five new trustees: Samuel Smith, Chairperson; Stephen Curran, Vice-Chair; Nicky Hickman, Secretary; and Philippe Page, Treasurer; and André Kudra, Nominating Committee.

At Evernym, we are excited and pleased with these new developments, and extend a big thank you to the outgoing board members who have helped advance both Sovrin’s ‘Identity For All’ mission and SSI as a whole.

You can find more on recent Sovrin Foundations developments at the Sovrin Blog.


10. Immunity passports and blockchain technology

With COVID-19 immunity certificates and contact tracing continuing to dominate the headlines, it’s important to maintain the highest bar for citizen privacy.

Done right, these solutions could help mitigate the spread of infection and help us return to normal, faster. Done wrong, they could fuel the surveillance economy.

To understand how we can best strike the balance between privacy and risk mitigation, The Banker sat down with Evernym’s Andy Tobin for a podcast interview on data privacy and the COVID-19 Credentials Initiative.

Give it a listen on Acast.


Meet the Evernym team at an upcoming event

  • Virtual: Nonconformist Innovation Summit (Jul 2) – Evernym’s Drummond Reed will be present sessions on the future of digital privacy and COVID-19 credentials

Looking for more frequent insights and industry news?

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