RE: DIDs and VCs mentioned on US Capitol Hill Hearing

The verbal part of the hearings on the Hill tend to provide a very limited view into the background, scope, and motivations of the work simply because the public statements are limited to 5 minutes and the conversation is constrained to answering the questions asked.

A more complete view point on the work can be found in DHS S&T’s written testimony (PDF) @

A web-friendly excerpt can be found at:

Since people sometimes have questions about DHS S&T interests and motivations in this space, let me short circuit that a bit and provide a quick synopsis below:

“… the challenge with blockchain technology is the potential for the development of “walled gardens” or closed technology platforms that do not support common standards for security, privacy, and data exchange. This would limit the growth and availability of a competitive marketplace of diverse, interoperable solutions for government and industry to draw upon to deliver cost effective and innovative services based on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.
To that end, DHS S&T is pursuing two broad courses of action to encourage a more open and inclusive future for blockchain technology:

1.       Support development of globally available specifications (precursor to standards) that are open, royalty free, and free to implement to ensure interoperability across systems while ensuring there is no vendor lock-in.

a.       Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) via World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Standardization Process

b.       Verifiable Credentials/Claims Data Model via W3C Standardization Process

c.       Decentralized Key Management System via TBD (Potentially OASIS)

2.       Actively work with and support our DHS Component customers, such as CBP, to understand their potential use cases for blockchain and help them achieve their outcomes with the needed R&D expertise and technologies.

We believe that our careful and considered approach benefits not just us but everyone who is considering the use of a blockchain technology in the long term by ensuring there is no vendor lock-in and there are multiple vendors with interoperable solutions from which we can buy.”

In addition to supporting and championing these interoperability efforts we are consciously USING these specifications in our proof of concepts and pilots – the intent there is to ensure that practical implementation lessons from those efforts are provided as input into the work here and in other global standards organizations to ensure that as these specifications move down the standardization path, they are informed by practical, business driven implementations and use cases rather than conceptual ones.

Best Regards,

-          Anil

Anil John
Cyber Security R&D Program Manager
Science and Technology Directorate
US Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC, USA<>

Email Response Time – 24 Hours

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Manu Sporny <<>>
Date: Wed, May 9, 2018 at 1:12 PM
Subject: DIDs and VCs mentioned on US Capitol Hill Hearing
To: W3C Verifiable Credentials Working Group <<>>, W3C Credentials CG <<>>

Verifiable Credentials and Decentralized Identifiers were mentioned
yesterday during the US Capitol Hearing on Leveraging Blockchain
Technology to Improve Supply Chain Management:

Good job everyone! The work we're doing here is a part of publicly
recorded national dialogue now... :)

Many thanks to DHS S&T for partially funding some of this work[1][2] and
helping all of us spread the message on Capitol Hill and to US lawmakers.

-- manu



Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Veres One Decentralized Identifier Blockchain Launches

Received on Monday, 21 May 2018 21:03:13 UTC