🚀DIF monthly #11

The August 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 #11

August, 2020

Welcome to the 2020 August 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.

Foundation News

DIF is now open (and free)!
Driven by the vision of transparent cooperation, 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.
Need more context? Read more about the free model.
Ready to join DIF? Sign up here.

DIF YouTube Channel
DIF is introducing a new channel to provide content and knowledge for the decentralized identity community. From now on we will aim to have up to date videos posted on YouTube with materials aimed at helping newcomers in the decentralized identity sphere. Check out DIF’s YouTube Channelhere!

New articles on UR / ZKP / OIDC-SIOP
Members of DIF have published several articles this month, regarding Universal Resolver Infrastructure, ZKP credential system, and OIDC and SIOP. Read more about the articles on DIF’s Medium blog.

🛠️ Working Group Updates

☂️ InterOp WG (cross-community)

Recommendations and test suits for interoperability across all adjacent communities working on decentralized identities.

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

  • Electing a chair and major liaisons to adjacent technical alignment bodies this week.
  • Finishing the final edits on the Charter.

Discuss how the group will work on test suits for the industry.

In the near future:

  • Organize proposed analytical work items into tasks and subtasks for a tiered roadmap.
  • You can join the mailing list by signing up here. Wiki here.

Identifiers & Discovery

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

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

  • Moved did:peer specification to DIF. Link.
  • Updates to .well-known DID configuration spec. Link.

Work on DID parameters and other DID core extensions. Link.

In the near future:

  • Work on KERI and alignment with did:peer.
  • Work on DID parameters such as initial-state and transform-keys.
  • Work on DID Configuration and Credential Manifests.

🛡️ Claims & Credentials

Verifying claims and assertions of identities.

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

  • Organized and significantly progressed Presentation Exchange work. Link.
  • Released ZKP blog post. Link.

Discussed possible new directions including a Credential UX Builder.

In the near future:

  • Solicit broader reviews and create explicit contributor guidelines for Presentation Exchange.
  • ZKP Scoping.

DID Auth

DID-based authentication specs, standards, and libraries.

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

  • Continued progress of new work item, DID-Jose-extensions. Link.

The WG is asking people to submit examples and join the calls to discuss how DIDs should be combined with JOSE (and Open ID Connect) as an extension to the JOSE specs. This work will most likely lead to an IETF BCP draft being submitted.

In the near future:

  • Turn the examples into a first BCP (Best Common Practices) draft which can be submitted to IETF.

DID Comm

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

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

  • Lots of spec writing and discussions on the following subjects:
  • Zero-roundtrip, out-of-band protocol, advanced message passing (e.g. QR Codes / URLs), didcomm.org, error indication, terminology on relationship and connections, essential protocols, routing, transports, and encryption. Link.


The development and maintenance of the formal Sidetree specification,

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

  • The Sidetree WG cut the first v0.1.0 beta version of the spec, but expects changes as we proceed toward v1.0.0.

The Sidetree reference implementation is in the process of switching to Go-IPFS and preparation is underway for the final additions before Sidetree is v1.0 feature complete.

In the near future:

  • The WG expects to be v1 feature, spec, and implementation complete before the end of the 2021 calendar year, and is working toward an early Q4 release.

Glossary Group

Joint work on a contextualized vocabulary that is widely accepted across the identity sphere.

Chairs: Kaliya Joung & Adrian Gropper
Page: <glossary>

The Glossary Group has decided to focus on the meaning of service endpoints for DIDs. We are also ranking how important people feel they are to interoperability and adoption. We have made space on the survey to name up to 3 additional types of service endpoints. Link.

In the near future:

  • Analysis of the survey.

Secure Data Storage

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

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

  • Dialogue with prior-art and adjacent projects (IPFS, IPFS-Textile Project, and IPLD, to name the three most recent) continues.

Dialogue with MyData Operators project to understand the use-case-first and governance-first community co-design process has gone well; ongoing conversations will focus on specifying requirements and high-level definition of data portability between Operators in the coming months.

In the near future:

  • Ongoing work on clarifying use-cases, aligning them with MyData and other external interlocutors.
  • Finish level-setting on the architecture and “layers abstraction” before iterating specific solutions or sub-specs.

🦄 Member Updates


  • eSSIF-Lab’s First Business-Oriented Open Call is moving forward with a selection of 21 projects — including Jolocom — to further build out the SSI ecosystem with strong incentive for interoperability.


  • Yao Xiang, the head of research of MYKEY, talked in an online open class on digital identity in Hive Academy Open Class. Read more.
  • Yao Xiang, the head of research of MYKEY, had a talk in CAC Presents about “Digital Identity and Next-generation Internet”. Yao introduced the significance of SSI and the progress of DIF and W3C. CAC is a nonprofit art organization dedicated to the presentation and scholarship of media art. Read more.


  • Join Condatis and Identity Experts in our upcoming webinar on Thursday 13th August at 3PM BST. We’ll be taking a deep dive into Self-Sovereign Identity as the next advancement in the world of identity and security. Read more.


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.


Future of Digital Identity: Self-Sovereign Identity & Verifiable Credentials
Aug 6th, 2020 - online

Join Kuppinger Cole analysts and international experts for this virtual event dedicated to SSI and the future of identity to learn how to overcome the main challenge of integration and standardization facing the implementation of SSI, explore the best practices of SSI, discover how to go beyond blockchain, and understand the relationship between data protection regulations and blockchain ID.
Sign up here for free.

🖋️ DIF Media

The Universal Resolver Infrastructure
Markus Sabadello, Danubetech
A DIF now hosts two instances of the Universal Resolver for the community and provides documentation of other deployments. Note, the instances hosted by DIF are not meant for production.
https://identity.foundation/ --> nav menu “Services”

Where to begin with OIDC and SIOP
Kaliya Joung, IdentityWoman
This post will explain how OIDC and SIOP are exciting and what kinds of adoption they could galvanize. First, we will cover OpenID & OpenID Connect, then touch on how decentralized identity (or “self-sovereign identity”) relates to “authentication” and “user accounts,” and finally how they can work together - with two educational videos along the way.

Building interoperable ZKP credential systems
Decentralized Identity Foundation, Medium
One way to limit excess information-sharing and preserve privacy throughout the lifecycle of that information’s usage is a set of cryptographic tools known as Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKPs). ZKPs can cut off tracking vectors, enable granular capabilities for minimizing the subset of data disclosed, and ensure that the usage of credentials does not leave data trails that third parties can monitor and leverage to compromise user privacy individually or en masse.


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