Phillip J. Windley
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Sovrin Foundation
Digital Safety, Governance, and Privacy
The Sovrin Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to administer the Governance Framework governing the Sovrin Network, a decentralized global public network enabling self-sovereign identity on the internet. The Sovrin Network is an open source project operated by independent Stewards and uses the power of a distributed ledger to give every person, organization, and thing the ability to own and control their own permanent digital identity. The network was built to exchange verifiable credentials and restore the control, privacy, and safety of digital identity. Since the launch of the network in 2017, there are now dozens of entities with SSI solutions and use cases based on the Sovrin Network.
Digital identity is one of the oldest and hardest problems on the internet. There is still no way to use digital credentials to prove our online identity the same way we do in the offline world. Overall, the internet lacks a universally available digital identity system that lets individuals collect, hold, and present any credentials they want, to whomever they want, whenever they want, without the reliance on a third-party managing access.
Launched in 2017, the Sovrin Network is designed to help create a way for identity holders to establish a self-sovereign identity—a trustworthy, lifetime valid, easy-to-use digital identity. Sovrin gives identity control back to identity holders. Instead of third-parties granting owners access to siloed troves of pervasively collected personal data, Sovrin flips the script and gives the control over who, what, and when data is shared back to the identity holder with verifiable trusted credentials.
Below are a few examples of end user case studies. There are many more.
Banking: CULedger, a credit union service organization, and its flagship product, MyCUID, will help credit unions to detect and prevent call center fraud by using the Sovrin Network to issue self-sovereign identity to all members.
NGO: iRespond is conducting a pilot in Thailand issuing self-sovereign digital identities on the Sovrin Network that will allow people living in refugee camps to access healthcare and provide accurate and secure medical records for the International Rescue Committee.
Healthcare: Using Sovrin’s distributed ledger technology and W3C verifiable credentials, Truu modernizes the way medical services verify staff identities, qualifications and certifications, which in turn enables healthcare professionals to spend more time caring for patients.
Interoperability Consortiums: IBM, ATB Financial, and Workday have joined forces to use the Sovrin Network to eliminate the rigidness of passwords, mitigate authentication and privacy risks, and to reduce costly call center password reset expenses when sharing employment credentials with financial institutions to qualify for banking services.
Government Use: The OrgBook BC is using the Sovrin Network to support companies in British Columbia to generate business locally and worldwide by creating a trusted digital network of verifiable data which is globally connected, interoperable, secure, and easy to join.
1. The Sovrin Foundation expanded the open source community to include more than 200 developers with over 15,000 code contributions.
2. The Sovrin Foundation has approved of more than 60 Stewards across six continents. This number has increased exponentially as the Sovrin Network launched in July 2017 with 10 Founding Stewards.
3. The Sovrin Foundation has witnessed organizations around the world with pilots, proofs of concept, and use cases utilizing the Sovrin Network.
4. The Sovrin Foundation launched the Sovrin Alliance at the beginning of 2019, and the Alliance already has seven sponsors.
The Sovrin Network relies on distributed ledger technology to provide the world with an identity metasystem that allows for the sharing of trustworthy digital credentials. The Sovrin Network is designed to be private by design on a global scale by using pairwise pseudonymous identifiers, peer-to-peer interactions, and zero-knowledge proofs that allow selective disclosure of personal data.
Below are a few advantages that Sovrin holds over other identity systems.
Public: Everyone can use Sovrin. Both individuals and organizations will be relying parties and credential issuers.
Permissioned: The Sovrin Foundation establishes rules for network nodes like Stewards and agencies to hold them legally accountable for their actions.
Reputation enhancing: Sovrin allows for the social proof of information people claim to be true, building reputation and thus enhancing trust.
Trustworthy: Identifiers and credentials can be trusted because they are based on strong cryptography and governed by the Sovrin Foundation.
Privacy enhancing: Credentials can be reused without risking correlation between identities. Sovrin reduces the hesitancy people might feel by enhancing privacy and thus reducing risk.
Friction reducing: Services can be integrated on the ledger, enhancing interactions between businesses.
The Sovrin Foundation launched the Sovrin Alliance at the beginning of 2019. The Sovrin Alliance aims to become the world’s leading destination for self-sovereign identity education and collaboration. The Alliance is dedicated to helping drive global adoption of SSI technology and promoting interoperability among all platforms and blockchains.
About Your Organization
The Sovrin Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to administer the Governance Framework governing the Sovrin Network, a decentralized global public network enabling self-sovereign identity on the internet. The Sovrin Network uses the power of a distributed ledger to give every person, organization, and thing the ability to own and control their own permanent digital identity.