[ Written by Rouven Heck, Executive Director ]
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is requesting comments (official request) on the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 186–5, Digital Signature Standard, and on NIST Special Publication (SP) 800–186, Recommendations for Discrete-Logarithm Based Cryptography: Elliptic Curve Domain Parameters.
The Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), together with Consensys, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), W3C Credentials Community Group (W3C CCG), Hyperledger and individual W3C member companies such as Microsoft, Transmute and ArcBlock produced a joint commentary in support for secp256k1 elliptic curve and keccak-256 hashing algorithms as one of the most widely used and tested formats across the wider blockchain industry, including the decentralized identity stack as well.
The current decision by NIST will have a significant impact on interoperability in this space. Since any effort to cater to both the large global market for DLT applications based on secp256k1 and keccak-256 and customers who require NIST-compliance in their systems necessitates a far more complex programming effort in order to maintain multiple approaches to the same problem.
DIF represents a large part of the decentralized identity community, recognizes a significant amount of adoption of secp256k1 and keccak-256 across the decentralized identity community in the area of decentralized identifiers, verifiable credentials, and related protocols. Endorsing secp256k1 and keccak-256 officially by FIPS 186–5 and SP 800–186 will allow many decentralized identity solutions to be adopted by the public sector and it will ensure the public sector will be able to interact with decentralized identity applications in the private sector in the future.
The joint commentary can be read here: LINK
Thank you for the community effort!