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The Baking Sheet - Issue #34

The Baking Sheet - Issue #34
By Tezos Commons • Issue #34 • View online
Welcome to the EDO era – Tezos will be upgrading for the 5th time

This week, we’re going to take a look at the work being done with Decentralized Identity (DID) on Tezos and try to ascertain the bigger picture of the recent developments we’ve witnessed around it.
What exactly is Decentralized Identity?
Back in October 2020, I wrote a post diving into the work Spruce Systems is doing to bring DID applications on Tezos. Since that point in time, a fair amount of things have changed but it remains worth knowing what exactly DID is, before we can glean the nature and significance of the work being done today for Tezos. 
Loosely defined, DID involves the replacing of identifiers, we can think of things such as usernames as examples. These identifiers can be replaced with other ones that are self-owned (sovereign), trustless, and use blockchain technology to protect privacy and provide security. 
The best way to look at it is to understand the world around us. Just like how Tezos continues to evolve and grow, so is the world. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase at some point or another - “Data is the new oil”. The phrase seems trivial at first, but upon deeper examination it carries a lot of weight. 
As I pointed out in that prior publication, the problem with data sovereignty and returning control back to the end user is one of significant importance.
“To satiate this ever growing problem, that is returning data sovereignty, it’s important to recognize that the architecture itself is broken. The architecture I’m referring to around the internet, has caused some unexpected consequences in the way we manage, store, and create data on the world wide web. Google knows everything about us. Have a Facebook account? Well, chances are, Facebook also knows nearly everything about us from the information we unknowingly give them.
Our digital identity(s) have evolved and the worlds at which they’ve evolved are in a crash-course collision amongst each other.”
Recently, the team at Spruce Systems released their DIDKit v0.1. Essentially, this acts as an SSI (Self-Sovereign Identity) machine that also includes support for did:tz - a new DID method for its verifiable data registry on Tezos. 
DIDKit is a toolkit that enables verifiable credential (VC’s) and decentralized identifier functionalities. What’s unique about this release is that it’s not tied to a specific blockchain, it is rather interoperable including functionality across several platforms. 
With this release, one will have the ability to start processing real-world verifiable credentials with non-repudiable signatures. 
There are several use cases for DID that span beyond just obfuscated hype and buzzwords as we’re so accustomed too in the space. In fact, I would argue DID is one of the most compelling use cases of blockchain technology. 
With the work Spruce Systems has done for the Tezos ecosystem in the field of DID, it remains worth watching future developments towards enabling any Tezos wallet to have the capability of handling credentials and DIDs.
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