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Re: Question: Can DID Documents define permanent email addresses?

From: =Drummond Reed <drummond.reed@evernym.com>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 21:17:07 -0400
Message-ID: <CAAjunnaEwZ6VyfnNNRpheQqNkOwakJYWmAXPbQE2eRxtzZeftA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Cc: Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
Steven, yes, actually one of the great advantage of DIDs is that they can
provide lifetime connections between people, orgs, and things that can
persist no matter how often the DID subject changes service providers of
any kind (email, phone, physical mail, etc.)

The exact mechanisms may vary, but the general algorithm is:

   1. Once assigned by an identity owner to a new connection (which can be
   pairwise pseudonymous), the DID for that relationship never needs to change
   and the connected party can always look up the DID on the
   relevant blockchain to obtain the current DID document (unless, of course,
   the DID has been revoked, which only the identity owner can do).
   2. The DID document will contain one or more service endpoints (which
   can also be pairwise pseudonymous) providing discovery, contact, or
   messaging services for the DID subject.
   3. The connected party (the entity to whom the DID was assigned) can
   use DID Auth for their own DID to authenticate to the appropriate service
   endpoint to initiate communications with the DID subject.

This approach could of course be used to discover the identity owner's
current email address, however IMHO the whole concept of using DIDs to
discover email addresses (or phone numbers or other legacy addresses) will
over a few years give way to using DID communications channels directly,
i.e., why use email when you can do encrypted DID-to-DID messaging or

Yes, I've swallowed the Kool-aid, but I believe DIDs really are "the
address of the future".


On Sun, Mar 11, 2018 at 8:25 PM, Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>

> Greetings,
> Could some combination of DID Document, Method, and Services allow the
> entity that has the email (and aliases) to define those in a central place,
> ie the DID Document, and then merely point to the current server for them?
> So if the server changes, the email address doesn't have to? And so all the
> correspondents of Entity X will never have to know, and can still
> communicate with Entity X by the same email address, forever (or until
> Entity X wishes to change it)?
> This seems like it would potentially be a big advance on the current
> system, which is either:
>  A. ISP based, so the email address must change if Entity X moves to a
> different ISP;
>  B. Cloud-based, so the Entity X is tied to [Google, Microsoft, etc.] who
> handles their email, and must change their email address if they wish a
> different provider;
>  C. Own domain (EntityX@EntityX.com) which is possible but somewhat of a
> pain to set up, especially for the 99% of the Internet who don't know what
> a server is (see: https://konklone.com/post/take
> -control-of-your-email-address for how that can be done).
> I haven't seen any mention of this on the list or DID discussions, but it
> seems like it would be a good thing to have if it's possible; potentially a
> simpler method, or at least one that the entity has control over.
> ?
> Steven
Received on Monday, 12 March 2018 01:18:06 UTC

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