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RE: The change from claims to credentials.

From: Michael Herman (Trusted Digital Web) <mwherman@parallelspace.net>
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 2021 20:27:05 +0000
To: Bob Wyman <bob@wyman.us>, Daniel Burnett <daniel.burnett@entethalliance.org>
CC: Snorre Lothar von Gohren Edwin <snorre@diwala.io>, Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <MWHPR1301MB2094EA91F6169ADDFF2780D3C3F69@MWHPR1301MB2094.namprd13.prod.outlook.com>
From a Developer's point of view, here’s what is used in the Trusted Digital Web project …paraphrasing…
(Reference: https://github.com/mwherman2000/TrustedDigitalWeb/blob/master/TDW.Servers/TDW.TRACommon/TRACommon.tsl#L51)

  1.  A Name-Value Pair is a named value (e.g. color=”red”)
  2.  A Claim is a single Name-Value Pair (e.g. color=”red”)
  3.  A Credential is a list of Claims possibly including some additional Credential metadata (e.g. a credential id (possibly represented as a DID), a schema context, subject id, credential type, etc.)
  4.  A Verifiable Credential is a Credential that also includes an additional cryptographic proof element to help verify the authenticity of the Credential data (Credential Claims and Credential metadata).

Here’s a simple Credential (with credential id "id": "did:colors:primarycolors") containing a single Claim named colors whose value is an array of color names.

    "@context": [
    "id": "did:colors:primarycolors",
    "type": ["VerifiableCredential", "ColorPalette"],
    "credentialSubject": {
      "colors": [
    "proof": { ... }

Best regards,
Michael Herman
Far Left Self-Sovereignist

Self-Sovereign Blockchain Architect
Trusted Digital Web
Hyperonomy Digital Identity Lab
Parallelspace Corporation


From: Bob Wyman <bob@wyman.us>
Sent: August 9, 2021 12:20 PM
To: Daniel Burnett <daniel.burnett@entethalliance.org>
Cc: Snorre Lothar von Gohren Edwin <snorre@diwala.io>; Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Subject: Re: The change from claims to credentials.

Thanks for the historical context. However, a few questions remain for at least one person trying to catch up on the group's history:

  *   How are "claims" and "credentials" distinguished? (Examples would be useful.)
  *   If they differ, is it still reasonable to use the workproduct of CCG to represent and exchange at least some non-credential claims?
  *   Will the use of CCG workproduct to express and exchange claims require a reduction in either the semantic richness of claims or the facility to exchange them?
  *   If CCG workproduct provides only limited support for claims, what is missing?
  *   If there are missing things, is there any known group currently addressing the problem of making claims that are not credentials?
  *   If such a group exists, should it seek to ensure compatibility with CCG workproduct? (If so, what is most important to agree on?)
bob wyman

On Mon, Aug 9, 2021 at 1:44 PM Daniel Burnett <daniel.burnett@entethalliance.org<mailto:daniel.burnett@entethalliance.org>> wrote:
I can speak to this, having been heavily involved when it occurred.  The original VC work that spun out of CCG used the term "Verifiable Credential", because Credential is indeed the word with the most accurate connotations for what the work was about, as evidenced by many broad surveys and discussions.
Unfortunately, at the time a number of the security folks at W3C objected to the word, claiming that "Credential" meant Username/Password.  In order to move the work forward we changed the name to Verifiable Claims.  That name persisted through the VCWG chartering process.  By the time the group started its work, those in the security space at W3C who had initially objected to the use of "Credential" had learned enough about the work to understand why that term was, indeed, correct.  We then changed the spec title as rapidly as we could and worked hard to only use "Verifiable Credentials" from then on.

So if you ever hear anyone use the incorrect term, please correct them to "Verifiable Credentials".

-- dan

From: Snorre Lothar von Gohren Edwin <snorre@diwala.io<mailto:snorre@diwala.io>>
Sent: Monday, August 9, 2021 7:38 AM
To: Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org<mailto:public-credentials@w3.org>>
Subject: The change from claims to credentials.

Hi! I just wonder and want to confirm

In early days there was a lot of talk about verifiable claims. But it was a switch over to focus more on verifiable credentials.

Do anyone have a briefe paragraph on the history of this focus change?

Snorre Lothar von Gohren Edwin
Co-Founder & CTO, Diwala
+47 411 611 94

(image/jpeg attachment: image003.jpg)

Received on Monday, 9 August 2021 20:27:21 UTC

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