DIDs: The Centerpiece of the New Internet and the Elastos Multi-Chain Solution

The blockchain industry has witnessed the rise of numerous promising trends over the course of its lifespan, from smart contracts to DeFi and NFTs. But its core – that is, the heart of the Web3 revolution – has remained constant: empowering users so they can take back ownership of their digital lives. First and foremost, that means taking back their identities. Identity is the single most important entry point for users on the current internet, and it will remain paramount in any subsequent renditions, especially the forthcoming Web3 paradigm. 

What is a DID?

DIDs, or Decentralized Identifiers, are globally unique and digitally native identifiers that can be linked to individuals, organizations, or devices for purposes of identification and verification services, as well as to confer robust ownership capabilities in the virtual arena.

DIDs are verified by cryptographic proofs such that users may effectively sign off on their identities, licenses, degrees, and other important personal documents and information with their own digital signatures. And, because cryptographic proofs are verified by a decentralized network of nodes on the blockchain, DIDs enable communities and economies as a whole to shift away from the vulnerabilities and security risks intrinsic to the Web2 model, and migrate toward the emergent Web3 paradigm characterized by security at the network level and self-ownership and privacy at the user level.

Why are DIDs the Centerpiece of Web3 and Web5?

In Web2, users are forced to use centralized IDs provided by each individual website or platform they access. These sites generally require an in-house username and password. In almost all cases, sensitive user information is stored on central servers by the central actor providing the services, leaving private information vulnerable to hackers, and forcing users to securely manage upwards of one hundred separate logins for regular use. Together, vulnerability and cumbersome ID management make the current ID landscape ripe for improvement. 

Decentralized IDs (DIDs) offer a new horizon for users on Web3 and beyond. With public blockchain-issued DIDs, a user receives a unique private key in the same manner as when they open a Bitcoin wallet on the BTC ledger. In this model, users are granted sole access to their respective IDs, and no third-party can seize or control them. When DIDs are integrated into applications across multiple sectors and blockchains, and tied to new decentralized data storage options, users can truly own their IDs and the data they generate, and can seamlessly log in to all of their favorite applications from a single ID and private key. Although Web3 is not mature enough for this new paradigm just yet, the building blocks are already falling into place, and Elastos is leading the charge.

Elastos DIDs: A Live DID-Integrated Ecosystem

At present, the Elastos ecosystem has one of the most advanced, W3C-compliant, and adoption-ready DID solutions readily available for users to explore and enjoy. Not only does Elastos provide a dedicated ID Sidechain for DID data, but users can create and register DIDs seamlessly from the Essentials Identity Wallet, and begin using them around the Elastos ecosystem in a flash.

The Elastos ecosystem features an array of native applications that have integrated Elastos DIDs for login, wallet access, and other high-impact features, from the Feeds social media application to Pasar’s NFT marketplace and Profile’s professional networking platform. Users can also utilize their DIDs to access key platform services around the ecosystem, such as Hive’s decentralized storage services, enabling users to truly own their assets, their identities, and their data.

Elastos DIDs: Preparing to Lead a Multi-Chain Future

Elastos’ multi-chain DID initiative is composed of three key technical components:

  • Standalone DID Solution: First and foremost, while Elastos DIDs will remain an Elastos-native DID solution, it will become interoperable with a wide array of other public blockchains. As such, ecosystems and applications beyond Elastos will be able to employ Elastos DIDs to login functions and other features.
  • Full W3C-Compliance: Elastos DIDs will remain fully W3C-compliant, with a standard implementation consisting of a DID SDK frontend and EID Sidechain backend.
  • Transitioning Standard User Authentication and Authorization Flow: All authentication and verification processes and services related to DIDs and Verifiable Credentials will always take place directly through user devices.

Strategic New User Onboarding

In the Web5 movement, DIDs and Verifiable Credentials serve as two of the main pillars of genuine data ownership. By bringing Elastos’ industry-leading DID solution to users and communities in other blockchain ecosystems, the Elastos ecosystem will be well positioned to attract individuals and organizations to its native community of decentralized applications. Elastos’ native DID features and integrations will serve as strong attractions to those exploring its DID solution elsewhere:

  • Live Application Scenarios: Native ecosystem projects such as Feeds, Pasar, and Elacity already integrate cutting-edge DID features and functions.
  • Elastos Hive: Users can store and access their personal data in Hive Vaults with their DIDs.
  • Essentials Identity Wallet: With the multi-chain expansion of Elastos DIDs, the Elastos Essentials Super-Wallet application will become the cryptocurrency space’s first identity wallet offering built-in multi-chain support. For the first time, users from other blockchain ecosystems will be able to leverage Elastos DIDs, Hive decentralized storage, and ecosystem applications such as Pasar without relying on bridges or high-latency processes for transfers. The Essentials Identity Wallet brings Elastos’ cutting-edge platform services and applications to Web3 users – no matter which blockchain they call home.
  • Adoption-Ready UX: In addition to providing a robust, W3C-compliant DID solution, the Essentials Identity Wallet employs a Connectivity SDK to deliver adoption-ready UX flow between apps, wallets, and DID technology. 

As always, to stay up to date with the development of Elastos DIDs and the Essentials Identity Wallet, and for the latest news and events around the Elastos ecosystem, stay tuned here on the official Elastos Info Blog.