Developer resources / Documentation / FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I choose the Evernym platform?

Evernym is the most proven solution on the market today for issuing, holding, and verifying digital credentials. We offer best-in-class technology, stability, performance, and support. We are working with 1,000+ organizations around the globe, and our customers are startups and enterprises alike.

Partnering with Evernym means building on a platform that powers the world’s largest self-sovereign identity (SSI) deployments, is built for enterprise-grade performance and scale, and is designed by an innovative team with an unwavering commitment to privacy, security, and trust.

2. Will Evernym support other networks beyond Sovrin?

We will be soon adding support for other networks, including cheqd, a Cosmos-based network launching this year for incentivized/tokenized use cases. And soon we will expand our support to any network offering W3C-style DIDs and credentials that are network independent.

If you would like to work with a Hyperledger Indy-based network other than Sovrin right now, we will be glad to discuss options to support you. And if there are other networks you’d like us to support, we’d love to hear more – just get in touch.

3. What are the use cases for digital credentials?

Whether it is a driver’s license, a plane ticket, or a vaccination certificate, a digital credential lets you carry your data with you on your device and present it at the right place and the right time, to whomever you choose. At the same time, SSI is about more than “identity” in the way it is traditionally defined.

The use cases for digital credentials are truly endless – here are just some examples of what’s possible:

4. What has been built on Evernym’s platform?

Our customers have built a variety of amazing solutions with our tech. You might have heard about the IATA Travel Pass and the reopening of global travel. Here are some other examples of what has been done with the Evernym platform:

If you want to learn more about a specific use case, you can also check our webinars (see the Partner Showcase category) or view more case studies and testimonials here.

5. Do I need a team of developers to start issuing or verifying credentials?

Verity Flow, our latest product, is a browser-based, no-code visual interface for issuing and verifying digital credentials. You will not need any developer effort to get started.

We expect to release Verity Flow later this year. You can sign up here to join the waitlist and subscribe to product updates.

6. What does ‘peer-to-peer’ mean in SSI?

In self-sovereign identity, every exchange is peer-to-peer. There are no intermediaries between entities that want to connect and exchange credentials, messages, data, etc. Peers can be people, organizations, or things – there’s no difference in the protocol.

A decentralized identity model

For more information on how peer-to-peer connections are established and transactions take place, check out this great article by the Sovrin Foundation on the topic.

7. What is the role of blockchain in digital credentials? What goes on the ledger, and what does not?

First of all, it’s important to state that no personal data should ever be recorded on an immutable ledger, such as a blockchain. The information written to the ledger stays there forever, and anyone can access it. Instead, today Evernym uses the Sovrin ledger which records only public information, like public keys, and as little as possible of it, so that we can verify credentials when they are presented.

It’s important to understand what goes on the ledger and what does not, so please do read this whitepaper, which covers the key concepts about what data goes where, and why.

In short, the ledger is used to hold schemas, credential definitions, public DIDs and keys of credential issuers, plus some other attributes – all public information. The ledger doesn’t contain any private information at all. It certainly doesn’t contain any credentials. Credentials all live “at the edge” (on device) rather than centrally on a blockchain. Putting personal information on a blockchain is a bad idea!

Because the ledger keeps the public information forever, even if the issuing institution shuts down, goes bankrupt, or otherwise ceases to exist, the credentials they issued will always be able to be verified.

8. What do I need to do to start issuing Verifiable Credentials?

If your organization plans to issue credentials, you will need to go through an issuer setup process, obtain an Issuer DID, and write it to the ledger. One Issuer DID corresponds to one Domain DID and is used for signing credentials.

At a later point, you will have to have your Credential Definition written to the ledger as well. You can read the Schemas and Credential Definitions section of this paper to learn more on the topic. This article gives a great explanation of how DIDs, Keys, Credentials, and Agents work together in Sovrin, and we highly recommend reading it.

To get started, we’d recommend signing up for our free Developer Plan if you haven’t already. Our Verity platform can help your organization communicate with the ledger and get set up as an issuer.

9. What can a Verifier check in a Verifiable Credential? How Does a Verifier Know the Credential is yours?

When a credential is presented, the organization that receives it – the ‘verifier’ – can instantly check four things:

  • who issued the credential;
  • that the credential was issued to the individual presenting it;
  • the credential hasn’t been tampered with; and
  • the credential hasn’t been revoked*.

‘Link Secrets’ play an important role here and enable individuals to combine different credentials into powerful compound proofs. You can learn about link secrets and why they are important in this blog post.

* Evernym will be implementing full decentralized revocation capabilities soon. Note that the currently available Hyperledger Indy revocation protocols do not yet support the scale required by Evernym’s customers. However, we have alternative solutions available if required – just get in touch.

10. Where can I try Connect.Me?

This Connect.Me demo will take you through several SSI scenarios from graduating from a college, to getting hired, to applying for a bank loan. We hope you like your first SSI journey! Please let us know your feedback once you’ve gone through the demo.

11. How do I know my data is kept private?

At Evernym, we are passionate about building the foundation for a more trusted world where identity is self-sovereign and data surveillance is not a concern. Our products are built for minimum disclosure and to eliminate the possibility of correlation. Smart data signatures preserve privacy, and all connections are peer-to-peer. Verifiable Credentials stored in your Connect.Me wallet all live ‘at the edge’, on your device rather than in the cloud under someone else’s control, and only transmitted encrypted with the recipients keys. As a result, the unencrypted content is not available to any third party. Only you have control over sharing your information, and there is no data silo and no intermediaries involved.

12. What if a user loses their phone, where their credentials are stored?

This paper goes into detail about what happens if someone loses their phone, what makes it nearly impossible for a thief to access their data if their phone is stolen, and why digital credentials are far more secure than paper credentials we use every day.

We recommend that digital wallet users turn on app backup, so that their connections and data can be restored if the device is lost or stolen e.g. using the backup features offered by the mobile operating system like iOS. Evernym plans to implement additional backup and recovery methods in the future.

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