Bridging the Gap: OpenID and DIDComm

· 2 min read
Bridging the Gap: OpenID and DIDComm

Join the Decentralized Identity Foundation community call on 27 May at 09:00 PDT / 12:00 EDT /  18:00 CEST to learn how organizations can leverage the combined capabilities of OpenID4VC and DIDComm through an emerging specification under development at IDunion, opening the door to a myriad of new possibilities in identity-centric applications and services. Moderated by Sam Curren. Register here

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital identity and communication protocols, OpenID4VC protocols working in parallel with DIDComm represents a significant opportunity for businesses to bolster security, enhance privacy, and streamline operations. By combining a familiar authentication and access pattern with VCs and augmenting it with secure generalized communication, developers can unlock new functionalities for digital identity while ensuring compliance with regulatory frameworks such as the Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS) 2.0 regulation in the European Union. 

OpenID, renowned for its simplicity and widespread adoption, provides businesses with a standardized framework for user authentication across multiple applications and websites. The OpenID4VCI and OpenID4VP protocols (collectively referred to as OID4VC) follow the familiar pattern and apply it to the exchange of Verifiable Credentials. These verifiable credential protocols were selected by the eIDAS 2.0 effort in Europe as the protocols for VC exchange. 

DIDComm, built on the principles of self-sovereign identity (SSI), picks up those trusted connections and offers a decentralized and privacy-enhancing protocol for secure communication. DIDComm makes communication between entities using DIDs safe and simple, and easy to use, providing a way to create secure and streamlined communication solutions. DIDComm can accommodate protocols for nearly any purpose, while retaining its properties of privacy and security. Learn more about DIDComm here.

IDunion's goal is to create an open, global ecosystem for decentralized identity, aligned with European values and regulations. IDunion is leading this important effort to define protocol extensions to allow OpenID and DIDComm interoperability.

Running side by side, OpenID4VC and DIDComm hold the promise of revolutionizing digital identity management and communication. By incorporating a familiar pattern for the exchange of verifiable credentials alongside a secure communication channel with capabilities that extend beyond verifiable credentials, businesses can benefit from enhanced security and trustworthiness of digital identities while maximizing their benefits.

This pairing of open protocols also enables businesses to address regulatory requirements more effectively, particularly in the European Union where the eIDAS 2.0 regulation sets the standards for electronic identification and trust services. Businesses operating within the European Union can leverage OpenID4VC protocols for credential issuance and presentation to satisfy the requirements of eIDAS 2.0, while utilizing DIDComm to securely communicate and coordinate with parties for features beyond the scope of the OID4VC protocols. By adopting a decentralized approach to identity and communication, businesses can ensure compliance with eIDAS 2.0 while safeguarding sensitive information and building trust with their customers and stakeholders and growing their services and business opportunities.

The integration of OpenID VC Protocols and DIDComm opens the door to a myriad of new possibilities in identity-centric applications and services. By leveraging the combined capabilities of these protocols, businesses can easily realize the benefits of verifiable credentials built on direct communication between trusted connections.