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The project that will bring SSI to reality: Swisscom Blockchain presented its Self Sovereign Identity solution at the 2019 NEO DevCon

A new digital identity management solution.

Seattle has recently hosted the 2019 NEO DevCon, an international showcase for top contributors and Dapps in the universe of NEO blockchain.

Among the speakers of the summit, Swisscom Blockchain’s co-founder and head of enterprise, Waldemar Scherer, introduced Seraph ID, a project that leverages NEO to provide a new digital identity management solution.

Scherer stated that only in 2018 nearly 3Bio of records (among which very sensitive data) have been stolen and used for fraudulent activities. In fact, the state of the art identity verification relies on ineffective methods that are not able to protect an individual’s access to data, information or funds.

“Only in 2018, nearly 3’000’000 of records have been stolen and used for fraudulent activities”

Mentioned in “Introduction to Self Sovereign Identity (SSI)”, Blockchain technology could allow for a safer storage and transmission of personal data online.

With the use of blockchain, Seraph ID has two main goals:

  • giving users the possibility to access and manage identities connecting to the storage layer of the NEO blockchain.
  • enable dapps, smart contracts or third parties to verify the identity and the validity of users’ claims using NEO for validation.

These perfectly embodies the principles of SSI: giving users the power to manage their own data autonomously. Or in more specific terms, to give them the power to disclose only those necessary information that allow the use of specific services, without providing further sensitive data about themselves.

SSI & Verifiable claims with Seraph ID

The choice of NEO blockchain

The NEO blockchain is very close to the concept of SSI by design. Digital Identity is in fact one of the three pillars that defines the idea of “Smart Economy” behind the NEO project along with Smart Contracts and Digital Assets.

This attention on identity comes from the belief that a real smart economy cannot claim itself smart if we cannot know who we are trading with, especially in an automatization regime.

The uniqueness of NEO and ultimately the value that it could bring in this model has been well illustrated again by Scherer: “NEO has a unique approach. On one side it has a strong community behind, but on the other side takes the enterprises onboard. Hyperledger or R3 Corda are driven by enterprises while Ethereum by the community. At the end of the day you want the community standing behind the project, but the enterprises to be able to build the smart economy on top of the platform.

It is ultimately important to have enterprises acting as nodes to make them understand the role they can play in shaping the future of the network.

Community and enterprises should cooperate

Seraph ID wants to give individuals themselves the possibility to act as identity providers, a role that nowadays is exclusive to centralized authorities or third party service providers like Google or Facebook.

Its choice to keep the community in the governance leveraging NEO rather than an enterprise focused blockchain could be a strategic move. Both users and enterprises need better ways to manage digital identities, meaning strong incentives in delivering an effective solution.

Seraph ID presentation at DevCon 2019

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  1. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.


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