W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-credentials@w3.org > February 2022

DID methods as W3C standards - a happy compromise?

From: steve capell <steve.capell@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2022 19:05:34 +1100
Message-ID: <CAEMprtKL0=LXHxo-gvHH0eWggfsd8cegKgA1x7-p+XDgj2gBOg@mail.gmail.com>
To: W3C Credentials CG <public-credentials@w3.org>
Hi all,

I've been delving into dozens of DID methods because I need to make some
recommendations for customer decisions shortly.  I am starting to see
patters and forming my own opinions on which DID methods might make sense
for what purpose and which are likely to be well governed stayers which are
(in my opinion - sorry) largely irrelevant.

In doing so, I started thinking about the objections to the DID
specification which seem to revolve largely around some desire to constrain
the plethora of methods.

It's clear to me that W3C can't really prefer this or that blockchain or
DLT implementation over another when it comes to developing standards
without implying some kind of commercial preference.  Therefore leaving it
to the market to propose a heap of DID methods and letting natural market
consolidation choose the winner(s) seems the only way forward.

However there are some (very few) did methods that clearly have no
relationship to a specific technology and so can logically be separated out
from the soup of "please use my ledger, it's better" methods as candidates
for full W3C standardisation as part of the DID specification.

   - did:key
   - did:web
   - did:dns
   - did:ipid
   - did:peer
   - did:schema
   - and maybe did:keri, did:onion, ..?

It would even be possible to have a decision tree to help users decide
which of these ledger agnostic methods is good for what purpose.  eg if you
are a government agency or a large corporate with well known and stable
domains then maybe did:web is good for the credentials you issue.  If the
subject of the credential is a short lived thing like a trade consignment,
maybe did:key or did:ipid is the ideal choice.  If you are a small business
or citizen that wants to protect your privacy but also be able to prove
your identity or entitlement as the subject of (say) a government issued
credential, then perhaps did:kerri would work well.

Anyhow - the questions is - can't we pick just a small number of
un-controversial methods to standardise?  even if it's just did:key and
did:web to start with.

just a thought...
Steve Capell
Received on Tuesday, 22 February 2022 08:05:58 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Thursday, 24 March 2022 20:25:28 UTC