The originating vision of the Internet was that of a cooperative space, a non-proprietary community linked together in a network of distributed nodes to create a universal system of communication. It is now an unfortunate reality that a handful of proprietary companies dominate the digital landscape. Altogether, the services that they offer collectively comprise a vast percentage of total user activity on the web. To truly re-decentralise this feudal landscape, we must first start with the decentralisation of the core infrastructure of our digital life: identity. With this background in mind, Jolocom is developing a solution which provides users with a decentralised identity based on hierarchically deterministic keys (HD keys) generated, provisioned and controlled by the users themselves. The idea of using public/private key infrastructure to manage identities is not a new one (see, Web of Trust, DPKI). However, key management and recovery in a decentralized approach to identity has largely been inefficient and resource intensive, with many approaches simply offloading complexity related to these issues onto the end user. An identity based on HD keys allows for the easy management of multiple ’personas’ and preservation of pairwise anonymity in context-specific interactions, as well as recovery of all of these derived key pairs with a simple seedphrase. Furthermore, our solution enables the modelling of ownership of IoT devices for integrated human/machine identity through the provisioning of HD child keys, providing Jolocom identity users a way to construct a full-fledged, decentralised digital identity which truly reflects all of their attributes – a truly federated decentralised identity.
Our aim is to:
- Provide a lightweight, global, self-sovereign identity solution for decentralised systems which is easily deployable for non-technical users.
- Continue to conform to existing industry standards concerning decentralised digital identities, specifically the W3C DID/DDO specification and the BIP 32/39/44 standards for the hierarchical derivation of Jolocom identity keypairs.
- Maintain open-source releases in order to support the larger decentralised application community.