Digital identity is not just a vision, it’s a human right

Throughout the history of the Internet, users’ personally identifiable data information has usually been secured by a combination of user names and passwords. All data resided within a third party enterprise — usually a centralized system. As the web has evolved, some new forms of digital identity verification have also emerged, but these remain largely controlled by third parties.

The popularity and drive for digital identity has been stagnant due to issues such as very slow identity and credential verification processes, credential forgery and lack of product traceability.

But in the blockchain era, digital identity is set to become a reality, and to address all of these issues, blockchain-based Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI — Self-Sovereigh Identity) is starting to enter the public domain. Self-Sovereign Identity is a model that allows individuals to fully own and control their digital identity and does not rely on a centralized institution.

SSI consists of 3 core components: Blockchain, DID (Decentralized Identity) and VC (Verifiable Credential).

Blockchain: a decentralized database shared between computers in a blockchain network that records information in a way that is difficult to change, crack or spoof the system.

Decentralized ID (DID): A cryptographically verifiable identity created by a user, owned by the user, and independent of any organization.

Verifiable Credential (VC): A digitally encrypted and secure version of a paper or digital credential that one can present to a verifier.

With the rise of Web3, users will gain Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI), control of their private data through the blockchain, enabling users to prove their identity and other information in any situation, while still guaranteeing full control over their data. And this information will follow the user across all platforms, allowing only the user to decide exactly what information is displayed and to whom. For organizations and businesses, SSI enables them to create fraud-proof verifiable credentials (VCs) and to immediately verify the authenticity of the credentials.

While it is unclear whether there will be a globally common system to drive SSI, or whether a range of interoperable services will emerge, it may only be a matter of time before they become normalized. Fortunately, a solution is on the way, with several projects already attempting to address the issue and all of which allow users to maintain control of their data, and MEMO is one of them.

Blockchain in action for digital identity

Based on the decentralized, distributed ledger and tamper-evident features of blockchain, MEMO uses nodes on a global scale to quickly digitize and store all of a person’s information and credentials in a single digital ID, which can include social connections, financial, medical and professional data, among others. It also combines its own multi-level fault tolerance mechanism with a multi-copy storage strategy to ensure that its information is kept secure with multi-node backups to reduce the risk of data loss.

Once set up, personal information and historical behaviour can be linked to this digital identity to realize a true digital profile. In addition, as MEMO is compatible with any Turing-complete public chain and unique middleware system, it makes it easier to achieve network-wide interoperability and traceability of digital information. For example, a LinkedIn user restarting a new account on Instagram, regardless of how many existing followers they have, with this blockchain-powered digital identity can take them with you as you move across platforms and networks.

While this sounds like a very large amount of information being stored in a single ID, much like the vast majority of us have our personal information stored in certain internet applications; the difference is that with SSI, all of this information is entirely the user’s own and can be handled as they see fit.

Decentralized identity

Whereas in the old days everyone who went online needed an account to identify themselves, such as an email address or a username, which were centralized identity, in the age of Web3 we need decentralized identity. MEMO helps users to create digital identities while allowing them to create multiple DIDs, so that people can create various DIDs to suit their needs for different purposes, such as Shopping, accessing websites and job hunting, users can securely connect to their verifiable credentials without revealing information other than a single DID without authorization, and DIDs allow users to have full ownership and control of their data.

After all, data control is a big issue, not only in terms of security and privacy, but also in terms of money. Currently, the vast majority of people’s data is controlled by corporations, from which retailers buy consumer data as the basis for advertising to their customers, with major US technology companies generating over $100 billion in total advertising revenue each year, yet these data owners receive no payment

Now, if users use SSI to provide their own data. Firstly, companies can be confident that the information they receive is 100% accurate. For another, businesses will not be buying this information from third parties, but will be provided by the consumers themselves. This will result in significant cost savings for these businesses, while the consumer will be paid for what is rightfully theirs.

Verifiable credentials

Verifiable credentials are digitally encrypted, secure versions of paper and digital credentials that users can present to parties who need them for verification, including providing education records, business credentials, work history, personal information and more, allowing businesses to instantly confirm the authenticity of information without having to contact the issuer.

Equally important, the verifiable credentials provided by MEMO are a single, unforgeable credential that is controlled and generated by the certificate issuer or the user themselves, and thus presented to the party requiring verification, enabling seamless access and absolute security. This enables absolute integrity between organizations, users and companies.

With the rise of the Web3 platform, digital ID is a practical necessity and a fundamental human right. Users cannot afford to let control of their data fall into the hands of corporations, and fortunately, the solution is there. To truly provide a metaverse for people that respects their autonomy and creates a platform-independent, cohesive experience, power must be returned to the individual, and it starts with MEMO.

MEMO is a new-gen blockchain decentralized cloud storage protocol. Our mission is to build a reliable storage infrastructure for the Web3 era.

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Memo Labs

MEMO is a new-gen blockchain decentralized cloud storage protocol. Our mission is to build a reliable storage infrastructure for the Web3 era.