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Re: Is Decentralized Identity/Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) the killer application for blockchain/DLT?

From: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2018 10:58:46 -0800
To: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, public-credentials@w3.org
Message-ID: <c8a7f011-879a-f785-8dc5-7f71ecfef6e6@sunshine.net>
On 2018-11-18 8:01 AM, Manu Sporny wrote:
> On 11/17/18 12:49 PM, Steven Rowat wrote:
>> (while, in this case, hopefully being able to work alongside the old
>>   paradigm, which is probably a good thing).
> Exactly, Steven... with one minor nit -- instead of "hopefully being
> able to work alongside", I'd restate it as:
> "... must be able to enhance the existing systems and provide a smooth
> transition path toward a fully interoperable DID/VC ecosystem."

Manu, I agree with the overall intention of that change, but I have a 
nit with the "must be able to enhance the existing systems" -- enhance 
from whose point of view? In the long term not all those currently in 
control of the existing systems may feel that the outcome is an 

In my opinion DIDs and VCs achieving widespread adoption may cause the 
advertising-from-secret-data models, and identity silos (Facebook, 
Google, etc. etc.) to shift in major ways; and eventually some of 
those models may be rendered obsolete. And from a whole-society point 
of view, this may be a good outcome.

So to me, "must be able to enhance" glosses over this in a way that 
may seem useful at the moment, but is perhaps unduly limiting about 
how DID/VC needs to proceed.

In other words, as a new paradigm, it needs to be self-consistent, 
efficient, and effective, for all users, as a way of instituting SSI 
and its benefits. Then minor changes in it can be made to accommodate 
existing systems, to the degree that's possible. Not the reverse: that 
it MUST enhance existing systems, and deliver SSI to the degree that's 
possible afterwards.

Steven Rowat

> Working systems with broad adoption are more convincing than
> explanations about how wonderful the world will be *if only* people
> would make the switch.
> -- manu
Received on Sunday, 18 November 2018 18:59:00 UTC

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