SSI Roundup: September 2020

Below is a copy of our August/September 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, September 2020

The Self-Sovereign Identity Roundup: September 2020

Welcome back to another edition of The SSI Roundup. Today, we’re exploring how COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of verifiable credentials, what Apple’s latest move means for digital identity, what SSI means for trust and relationships, and a few exciting announcements regarding Evernym’s credential platform.

We’d like to extend an invitation to a hackathon in conjunction with our partners at the NHS. Leveraging our flagship product, Verity, developers are encouraged to build out staff passport related solutions. More details can be found here. 

We also want to give a special shoutout to Tykn co-founder and early Evernym customer, Tey El-Rjula, for the release of his new book, The Invisible Son. The autobiography explores the fundamental concept of, and universal human right to, identity. Congrats Tey!


Our top content picks from the past month


1. What’s new in Verity?

Verity 2.0

In August, we announced the next evolution of Verity, our flagship digital credential platform. The release introduces dozens of new features and makes the platform more powerful and easier to build on than ever before. Further, the release represents a major leap forward in terms of interoperability, stability, and scalability.

To learn more about Verity, read our announcement, or join us next Tuesday for a Verity-themed webinar. We’d also invite you to join 75+ other teams who have taken advantage of our free Sandbox Plan since it was launched in July. 


Join us September 8 for a webinar on Verity


2. Apple Pay was not disruptive, but Apple ID will be

Apple Pay has long been touted as a disruption—a way to ditch our wallets altogether and make purchases from the security and convenience of our phones.

Yet, as David Birch argues in this Forbes column, most of the stuff we carry in our physical wallets has nothing to do with payments. It’s about identity: driver’s licenses, insurance cards, student IDs, loyalty cards, etc. For Apple to truly replace the wallet, it’s going to have to digitize all of these verifiable claims of identity… and, as it happens, the company just filed a series of patent applications to do exactly that.

This article examines what an “Apple ID” product could look like, and the privacy and security implications that come with it, ultimately concluding:

“Digital identity is the foundation of existence in an online society and choices that are made about how those identities work will be fundamental to how that society is going to work in the future. We need to begin this discussion now.”


3. COVID’s impacts illustrate the value of credentials in our new normal

A year ago, walking up to a bank or credit union teller in a mask and not wanting to exchange a physical ID card would’ve raised some serious red flags. Today, it’s the new normal.

This article, by our brilliant partner CULedger, examines how the current pandemic has necessitated a move to contactless identity verification, how CULedger’s MemberPass solution has made that move possible for thousands of credit union members, and how verifiable credentials can increase trust by giving consumers the means of knowing that they’re engaging with an authorized representative of their credit union.

Read more on the MemberPass blog, and stay tuned for information on the successful LIVE roll out of MemberPass (some of the very first verifiable credentials in the wild). 


4. Identity’s role in re-opening the economy

This article, a recap from the last KNOW Identity Digital Forum, discusses a multitude of ways digital identity can aid us in safely reopening the global economy. It covers technical solutions, like contact tracing and immunity credentials, the need for a better remote trust infrastructure, and the importance of privacy preservation and frictionless end-user experiences.

Give it a read at One World Identity.


5. Decentralized identity passes a big test in the UK

Portable identity passed a significant test in the United Kingdom, with the announcement of positive results from a pilot involving Evernym, Onfido, Deloitte, and the Financial Conduct Authority.

The test, which involved consumers creating financial service accounts using verifiable credentials that they can use and take anywhere, demonstrated an appetite for reusable identity among both consumers and organizations, as well as compatibility with existing regulation.

Commenting on the pilot, Evernym CEO Steve Havas added:

“The pilot has been a shining demonstration of how portable digital identity can transform markets and solve real business problems in a way never before possible. When you put the individual in charge of her digital identity, everyone wins. It gives consumers the freedom to securely move about the digital world, and businesses the ability to finally know and trust who they are interacting with.”

You can find the full story on SecureIDNews.


6. SSI and authentic digital relationships

While today’s implementations of verifiable credentials are largely around authentication and access control, the real impact stretches far beyond the realm of identity.

In this essay, SSI pioneer Phil Windley discusses how credentials enable entirely new relationships—between organizations and their customers or employees, between peers, and between individuals and their data.

The essay examines how SSI provides people with the means of operationalizing their online relationships and how it allows ad hoc interactions not previously possible. It also provides a fascinating vision of what our world would look like if individuals were at the center of their digital relationships and data.

Read the story on Phil Windley’s Technometria.


7. Evernym partners with iProov to enable trust online

Last month, we announced plans to integrate iProov’s biometric authentication and Genuine Presence Assurance technology into our Connect.Me digital wallet app.

With the iProov integration, Connect.Me users will be able to take a biometric facial scan to confirm that they are the rightful owner of a credential, rather than only relying on on-device biometrics and PIN codes, both of which can be spoofed. This integration enables high-assurance use cases, particularly in industries like banking and healthcare, and protects against criminal impersonation and credential sharing.

Read the full announcement in the iProov newsroom


8. LG CNS is the latest global brand to join the Trust Over IP Foundation

Evernym partner, LG CNS, the technology arm of the Korean mega-corporation LG, has joined the Trust Over IP Foundation as a steering member. They join over 100 other organizations and contributors and bring a unique perspective from one of the most buoyant SSI markets in the world. 

Read the story here


Upcoming (virtual) SSI events


Reserve your spot for Tuesday's Verity-focused product webinar


Looking for more frequent insights and industry news?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and check out our Plans for the resources, tools, and support needed to start building out solutions today.