This past weekend, Outlier Ventures held their inaugural Diffusion 2019 conference in Berlin, where 500+ developers and entrepreneurs came together to promote digital innovation.
The event was a two-day conference on Web 3.0 protocols in Blockchain, AI, IoT, and Big Data, culminating in a hackathon that tasked participants with combining a set of 15 protocols and open-source technologies (including Sovrin, Hyperledger Indy, and Evernym’s Verity) to foster “a new data economy centred around privacy, the decentralisation of insecure cloud architecture and the deconstruction of platform monopolies.”
As avid supporters of open source software and ecosystem development, we were honored to sponsor, judge, and mentor this event. Our own Andy Tobin and Trev Harmon judged the program’s digital identity track, accompanied by Marta Piekarska of Hyperledger. Evernym also had a tech support team on site run by Vladan Divac that worked directly with the teams as mentors and subject matter experts.
As for the participating teams, they did self-sovereign identity (SSI) proud. The “hacks,” which ranged from employment verification tools to remote onboarding solutions, all showed the potential of becoming viable businesses and provided a strong testament to just how far open source protocols, like DIDs, Hyperledger Indy, and Hyperledger Aries, have come in enabling application development.
We even got to see three of the SSI-related projects recognized on stage at the closing ceremony, with awards for Best Social Impact, Best Business Impact, and Best Integration of Digital Credentials:
Best Social Impact: Edinburgh Napier University’s Blockchain Identity Lab
A team of entrepreneurs from Edinburgh Napier University’s blockchain lab created a prototype for allowing hospitals to qualify doctors based on verifiable credentials issued by the UK National Health Service (NHS).
Use case: Employee credential verification
Protocols used: Hyperledger Aries, DIDcomm
Best Business Impact: HR Trust
HR Trust is a team formed ad-hoc by Diffusion 2019 attendees who didn’t know each other beforehand but shared a common interest in Sovrin and Hyperledger Indy. New to the game, the team built everything from scratch during the hackathon (a feat in and of itself!). Their use case was to verify that medical researchers are properly qualified and that the hospitals and data they are working on are genuine.
Use case: Medical research
Protocols used: Evernym’s Verity and Connect.Me, Sovrin, Hyperledger Indy
Best Integration of Digital Credentials: Joint
An SSI-enabled startup out of Berlin, Joint joined the hackathon to integrate Sovrin with their existing productivity tools, which were designed to organize the workflows of today’s entrepreneurs. The team looked to Sovrin and SSI as a way to create trust across the platform’s built-in hiring marketplace through the use of verifiable credentials (education certificates).
Use cases: Professional networking, hiring, qualification verification, intent casting
Protocols used: Sovrin, Evernym’s Verity, Hyperledger Indy
Start building your own SSI solutions
Inspired by these three innovative projects? Getting started with SSI has never been easier, thanks to a collaborative open source community (see: Getting Started with Indy), active forums for Indy and Sovrin developers, and tailored learning tracks through our own Early Access Plan (ask about startup pricing).
And, of course, there’s always Diffusion 2020.