🚀 DIF monthly #10

The July 2020 round of updates from DIF: Stay on top of developments on our Working Groups, news from our members, events and much more.

· 6 min read
🚀 DIF monthly #10

July, 2020

Welcome to the 2020 July issue of DIF Monthly, the monthly newsletter of Decentralized Identity Foundation! Read below for the latest updates on the work of the decentralized identity community every month.

DIF Is Opening Up

Join the Decentralized Identity Foundation,
for free!

In 2020, the co-development of the widely-interoperable decentralized identity stack is turning a corner, and now more than ever it feels like we are in a crucial moment for structured and transparent cooperation to pre-empt any enclosure of the Commons. With the widest possible cooperation, we can build unity and grow the market before dividing it up into fiefdoms and brands. DIF is aiming to return to its roots and pitching a bigger tent than ever to make sure we get this right, together.

Driven by this vision, DIF created a Contributor role to open up participation to all technical working groups for companies under 1000 employees - without the obligation to pay membership fees.

Join the leading organization of the decentralized identity revolution today, and let’s work together on creating the next chapter of Internet history - a world wide web with more freedom, more security and more possibilities.

Need more context? Read more about the free model.
Ready to join DIF? Sign up here.

Foundation News

Interoperability WG - the cross-community effort
DIF invites the attendance of all curious parties (regardless of DIF membership or contributor status) to a call where we can gather input and requirements of interoperability coordination across communities.
The draft WG charter: here
The next meeting is at 9 am ET Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 - Sign up here

DIF F2F Virtual Community Meeting - A Huge Success
With more than 100 participants in the call, the several hours long DIF F2F Virtual Community Meeting was one of the most successful community events of the Foundation. Newcomers and DIF-veterans alike discussed the present and future of the decentralized identity ecosystem and took part in workshops organized by WGs. We would like to thank everyone for participating - and can’t wait to meet you again on our next F2F. Highlights, videos, and links can be found here.

In last month, Open Identity Foundation hosted a joint event with DIF to discuss the SIOP specification (DIDAuth WG work item) and learn how OIDC and DIDs could interact. Watch the recording here.

🛠️ Working Group Updates

Identifiers & Discovery

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

Chairs: Markus Sabadello & Sam Smith
Page: <ID WG>

  • Deployed “official” DIF Universal Resolver instance, hosted by IBM. Link.
  • Approved Horcrux protocol as new contribution to secret recovery mechanisms, by Veridium. Link.
  • Discussed DID parameters for key derivation. Link.
  • Discussed the use of DID parameters and service endpoints for code packages that use URLs. Link.

KERI Developer Meeting announcement.

In the near future:

  • Write specifications for DID parameters such as initial-state and transform-keys, and get them registered in W3C DID WG.

🛡️ Claims & Credentials

Verifying claims and assertions of identities.

Chairs: Martin Riedel, Wayne Chang & Jonathan Reynolds
Page: <CC WG>

  • Presented Universal Wallet, Client Bound End-User Assertion (SIOP). Link.
  • Completed significant work on Presentation Exchange, including getting valuable feedback from some Hyperledger-savvy folks. Link.

Began work on ZKP and Credential Builder UX work items. Link.

In the near future:

  • Start these new work items and create better work item management, leverage the mailing list to a greater extent.

DID Auth

DID-based authentication specs, standards, and libraries.

Chairs: Kyle den Hartog & Oliver Terbu
Page: <DIDAuth>

  • SIOP specification is continuing it’s momentum to get finished up.

Had a great joint meeting with the Open ID Foundation and begun work on a new work item titled “did-jose-extensions”. Link.

In the near future:

  • Start next work item for DIDs used with JOSE and continued integration with DIDs and OIDCs.

DID Comm

Specifications, protocols, and formats developed for authetication data structures.

Chairs: Sam Curren, Oliver Terbu & Tobias Looker
Page: <DIDComm>

  • Worked on Protocol basics, DID Rotation (switching from one DID to another) and Message Authentication.
  • Created proof of work for spam prevention,
  • Reviewed Signal Protocol.

Researched the use of did:peer for ephemeral uses.

In the near future:

  • 0RTT concept review and related PRs.


The development and maintenance of the formal Sidetree specification,

Chairs: Orie Steele & Daniel Buchner
Page: <sidetree>

The Sidetree specification is nearing it’s first versioned iteration to establish a versioning cadence as it is developed toward a v1 final during the beta period. The WG believes the spec is on track for v1 final sometime in Q3/Q4 2020.

In the near future:

  • The WG seeks to make all major changes to the spec before the end of August, and move toward crystalizing the spec and hardening the reference implementation in the lead up to v1.

Secure Data Storage

Create one or more specifications to establish a foundational layer for secure data storage.

Chairs: Kaliya Joung, Tobias Looker, Dmitri Zagidulin
Repos: <SDS>

Careful delineation of roles and requirements for each “layer” and review of prior art compatibility are both proceeding well, with architecture diagrams being helpfully iterated and core devs from adjacent existing solutions participating actively as interlocutors.

In the near future:

  • Write specifications for DID parameters such as initial-state and transform-keys (both needed to “upgrade” ephemeral or minimal IDs), and get them registered

☂️ InterOp

Demonstrating interoperability across various teams/project and technology stack.

Interim Chairs: Orie Steele & Balázs Némethi
Page : <INTEROP>

Setting up the Charter, while gathering feedback from the community.

In the near future:

Regular meetings, election of chairs and liasions continue.

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. Opinions are welcomed.
  • You can join the mailing list by signing up here.

🦄 Member Updates


  • Jolocom’s full SSI technology stack (SmartWallet, SDK, Library) is serving several eIDAS showcase projects developed by 11 high-caliber consortia within the Schaufenster Sichere Digitale Identitäten (SDI) innovation competition, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economics Affairs and Energy. Link.
  • The TIB — Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology & Jolocom have jointly applied for an EU grant under the Next Generation Internet initiative for Human Centric Solutions with their eIDAS oriented project “ConDIDi — Conference Digital Identifier Integration”. Link.


  • Daniel Buchner, co-chair of DIF’s Sidetree WG explains the main concepts and solutions behind recovery schemes, with a highlight on Microsoft’s Fuzzy Vault construction. Read more here.
  • This work has been donated to DIF and will be further supported by the Identifiers and Discovery WG.


  • In addition to contributing to two of the BMWi Schaufenster consortia for German eGovernment and a federally-funded research project on energy-sector applications for decentralized identity, Spherity is also proud to announce a small grant from the EBSI program of the European Commission to accelerate open-source development of general utility for the decentralized identity community.


Silicon Valley Innovation Program (US)
DEADLINE: July 10th!

  • Organized by US Department of Homeland Security and based in California’s Silicon Valley, the program reaches out to innovation communities across the nation and around the world to harness the commercial R&D ecosystem for technologies with government applications and to co-invest in and accelerate technology transition-to-market.
  • The Programme is open to U.S. and internationally based companies.
  • Funding: up to $800K over 24 months.
  • Learn more here.

NGI Open Calls (EU)

  • Funding is allocated to projects using short research cycles targeting the most promising ideas. Each of the selected projects pursues their own objectives, while the NGI RIAs provide the program logic and vision, technical support, coaching and mentoring, to ensure that projects contribute towards a significant advancement of research and innovation in the NGI initiative.
  • The focus is on advanced concepts and technologies that link to relevant use cases and that can have an impact on the market and society overall. Applications and services that innovate without a research component are not covered by this model.
  • Varying amount of funding
  • Learn more here.


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