🚀DIF Monthly #1

The August 2019 round of updates from DIF: Stay on top of developments on our Working Groups, news from our members, events and much more.

· 5 min read

August, 2019

Welcome to the first issue of DIF Monthly, the monthly newsletter of Decentralized Identity Foundation! We aspire to give you the latest updates on the work of the decentralized identity community every month.

Foundation News

We founded the Decentralized Identity Foundation two years ago to provide a platform for the decentralized identity community, and to reshape the architecture of the digital identity space together. The community has come a long way since then: W3C including DIDs, decentralized identity becoming as hot of a topic as blockchain, not to mention the many innovations and technological breakthroughs.

DIF is home to multiple code-focused working groups, emerging standards efforts, and principle-setting initiatives, in lockstep with established international standards organizations (W3C, IETF, Open ID, IANA, etc,) to help accelerate the decentralized identity ecosystem.

As part of constant evolution, there is a change in the leadership of DIF. Rouven Heck (ConsenSys) is succeeding the role of Executive Director from Daniel Buchner, who acted as the ED since the inception of the Foundation. Read more about this change in their own words.

We would like to wholeheartedly thank Daniel for everything he did for DIF in these past years and wish the best of luck for Rouven as our new ED.

🛠️ Working Group Updates

☂️ InterOp Project

Demonstrating interoperability across various teams/project and technology stack.

Adopted BTCR as the issuer for the workflow. Link.

Implemented well-known uri demo using BTCR for linking issuer DID to the issuer domain. Link.

Adopted ES256K for auth and credential JWTs.

Began gathering information regarding support for Agents and Hubs.

Added universal resolver for ecdsa-secp256k1-2019. Link.

In the near future:

Understand and adopt or reject support for Agents and Hubs (specific concrete implementations hosted by members).

Gather a complete list of Identity Wallet applications that wish to be supported by the InterOp Project.

Adopt the challenge-response auth flow.

Please note:

If you would like your DID Method / Agent or Hub implementation to be supported, please use GitHub issues and contribute to the InterOp discussion in related working groups. Criticism is very welcome, don't be afraid to have strong opinions.

You can join the mailing list by sending an email to this address.

Identifiers & Discovery

How people, organizations, and devices can be identified and located without centralized systems.

Created a draft for a Well-Known URI resource, did-configuration, that enables DID controllers to prove linked ownership of a DNS domain. We plan to do a review with the I&D and C&C WGs, then officially register it with IANA. Link.

Participated in the BTCR Hackathon and updated the DIF Universal Resolver accordingly, in order to be compatible with other BTCR DID tools. Link.

In the near future:

Continue to maintain the Universal Resolver and its drivers.

Support the InterOp project, especially with regards to the DID Auth profile for OIDC under development by the DID Auth WG.

Make sure that the Universal Resolver fulfils its purpose in DID Auth and the InterOp projects.

Register the did-configuration Well-Known URI resource with IANA.

Storage & Compute

Secure, encrypted, privacy-preserving storage and computation of data.

Sketched out how to deliver and negotiate credential exchanges via Identity Hubs. There will be a high-level strawman spec generated to detail how these exchanges could work that we will publish for commentary in mid-August.

In the near future:

Lock-on a joint dev plan for Identity Hubs, and ensure it includes credential exchange capabilities.

🛡️ Claims & Credentials

Verifying claims and assertions of identities.

Started working on the following InterOp contributions (Link):

  • DIF conformant VC Profile
    (the candidate is Orie's lds-ecdsa-secp256k1-2019.js)
  • Universal QR-Code Format for InterOp Project
  • Functional Requirements for Presentation Format.

Planned a regular meeting schedule for C&C.

In the near future:

Define a QR and Presentation Request format for DIF and the Interop Project.

Create an updated flow diagram for a client-server based exchange protocol of VC offering and presentation requests.

DID Auth

DID-based authentication specs, standards, and libraries.

Set our WG page and the WG GitHub repository up. Link.

Finalized our first draft of the DID Auth SIOP profile.

Worked towards interoperability with the DID Comm specifications by providing an early implementation DIDComm.js on GitHub.

In the near future:

Get a first reference implementation of OIDC SIOP (JS) and DIDComm.js ready to support InterOp project use cases, and we will get an external review from the OIDF.

🦄 Member Updates


  • The Elastos Developer Team wrote a thorough analysis of the Elastos Decentralized Identifier (DID) in the latest edition of their Spotlight Series. DIDs are IDs not controlled by a central entity, and their value allows trust and mobility on the new internet. Link.
  • Elastos launched a new developer website called Elastos Academy. This site has everything a developer needs to begin learning about Elastos' decentralized tech, including a great section on Decentralized ID. Link.

Community Updates

One World Identity

  • OWI hosts the KNOW Identity Conference in Las Vegas. Our Call for Speakers is now open, and we're looking for engaging speakers to shed light on critical identity topics.
  • OWI teamed up with Google, uPort, and World Identity Network to propose a decentralized identity podcast at SXSW. We'd love to bring the digital identity conversation to a broader audience, but we need community support to get there.
  • OWI partnered with ThumbSignIn and Gluu to release research on customer authentication practices, specifically the move "Beyond the Password." Check it out for insight on where companies are going after the password passes.


#RWOT - Rebooting the Web Of Trust - Sept 3-6, Prague, CZ

  • RWoT is a facilitated design workshop ("DesignShop") focused on the creation of the next generation of decentralized web-of-trust based identity systems.
  • The goal of this event is to generate 5 technical white papers on topics decided by the group that will have the greatest impact on the future, followed by a hackathon early in the new year to implement those ideas.

Pre-IIW DIF Workshop - Sept 30, Mountain View, CA, USA

  • Join the members of the Decentralized Identity Foundation for a hands-on workshop - just a day before IIW.
  • If you are interested, send us an e-mail!

IIW - Internet Identity Workshop #29 - Oct 1-3, Mountain View, CA, USA

  • Internet Identity Workshop is a gathering of experts and stakeholders in the digital identity community that has been meeting twice each year since 2005 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.
  • IIW moves topics, code and projects downfield. Name any identity topic and there's likely to be substantial discussion and work being done at IIW to address it.

DIF / Media

'Rhythm and Melody: How Hubs and Agents Rock Together', on DIF's Blog. What are the hidden and obvious harmonies between hubs and agents - two core concepts of the DID space? Daniel Hardman, Sam Curren, and Daniel Buchner explain the idea with a hint of rock n' roll in their latest article.


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