DIF Monthly #32

Our March 2023 round of updates from DIF. Stay on top of developments at our Working Groups, news from our members, events and much more.

· 11 min read
DIF Monthly #32

March 2023

DIF Website | DIF Mailing Lists | Meeting Recording Archive

Table of contents

  1. Foundation News; 2. Working Group Updates; 3. Open Groups; 4. Announcements at DIF; 5. Community Events; 6. DIF Members; 7. Get involved! Join DIF

🚀 Foundation News

Are you up to date on recent accomplishments of the DIF Working Groups? This newsletter covers the latest updates from Claims and Credentials, ID and Discovery, Secure Data Storage, Applied Cryptography, Sidetree, Wallet Security,DIDComm and all of DIF’s open groups.

We want to give a warm welcome to DIF's new Executive Director, Clare Nelson. Clare brings a wealth of experience to DIF and is looking to move DIF’s mission forward to “advance the interests of the decentralized identity community, including performing research and development to advance pre-competitive technical foundations towards established interoperable, global open standards.” If you are interested in participating in any of the Working Groups described below, please click here.

We also want to give a big thank you to our outgoing Executive Director Rouven Heck. Rouven has served as ED of DIF since 2019 and has done tremendous work in leading its foundation and growth. Make sure to read Rouven’s latest post to review all the great progress DIF has made as a community.

Lastly, we are thrilled about an upcoming event. On Thursday March 2nd, DIF will be hosting a one-hour Ask me Anything (AMA) with Daniel Buchner on Decentralized Web Nodes or DWNs at 11am PT/2pm ET/ 8pm CET. There are still tickets available. Register here while you still have a chance!

🛠️ Working Group Updates

🛡️ Claims & Credentials

Presentation Exchange and Credential Manifest
The Claims & Credentials Working Group at DIF is excited to announce the release of the Presentation Exchange (PE) v2 specification. Presentation Exchange enables a verifier to express to a credential holder (via their software agent, such as a wallet) their requirements for claims and proofs. This updated and ratified version of the spec includes a restructured set of core requirements, as well as an extensibility mechanism through the use of optional “features.” You can read the full press release here. Ongoing work on implementation guidance and test suites begins in March, and new contributors are warmly welcome.

The “sibling specification” defining Credential Manifest (a requirement for open-world and widely interoperable Presentation Exchange) has also just been finalized as a WG-approved v1, so implementer feedback is warmly welcome (and required by the DIF Steering Committee for ratification!). Part of finalizing CM v1 was breaking out the ongoing design work on the Wallet Rendering extension as an optional extension; this latter specification is seeking active contribution to join the v1 club.

Presentation Exchange, Credential Manifest and Friends meets weekly at 10am PT/1pm ET/ 7pm CET Thursdays

Data Agreement

The task force is developing consent receipts for Presentation [Exchange] proofs (which log signature of “data agreements”) conformant to ISO 27560 standards. These provide a legally-grounded, verifiable, and immutable record of intended usage of data received, including data received in the form of Verifiable Credentials. Work is ongoing to create alignment of data agreement fields across vendors using ISO 27560 as a reference. They are also exploring potential interoperability events and test vectors for signing of data agreements.

You can learn more about the Data Agreement Specification here.

Data Agreement meets bi-weekly at 7amPT/ 10amET/ 4pmCET Thursdays

Trust Establishment

The Trust Establishment work item is looking to output specifications, interoperability profiles, and reference implementations that help organizations assemble and maintain an ecosystem of trusted relationships and data.

The v0.0.1 draft sets out the core data structures that can be referenced in credentials. There's also been discussion with the Trust over IP (ToIP) Governance Architecture Task Force to make sure both groups stay aligned on the mechanics of how open-world or permissionless Trust Establishment mechanisms can consume trust documents from permissioned governance structures, such as documents from machine-readable trust frameworks.

Trust Establishment meets bi-weekly at 10am PT/ 1pm ET/ 7pm CET Mondays

Schema Directory

Claims and Credentials has a work item for a schema directory and right now they have a survey out to understand what schemas DIF members are using with a goal of greater alignment and convergence. They are looking for more participation in the survey at this time which can be found here.

Schema directory meets bi-weekly on 9am PT/12pm ET/ 6pm CET Thursdays

VC-JWT bi-weekly

The VC-JWT biweekly has been an occasional meeting place for DIF members to catch up on and discuss the JWT work taking place in the Verifiable Credential work group at the W3C. This work on a formal standards-track document was discussed at a recent special W3C meeting in Miami. As an update, for the first time, there is now a native and more tightly-specified JSON Web Token (JWT) representation for Verifiable Credentials. This representation uses IANA-registered JWT claims whenever applicable, and requires no understanding of or reference to JSON-LD. Long-time DIF contributor Mike Jones offered this summary of the evolution of the specification.

The DIF VC-JWT discussions happen sporadically at the bi-weekly “reserved time” of Thursdays at 11am PT/ 2pm ET/ 8am CET; DIF members can inquire about vc-jwt issues and check for meetings in the #vc-jwt channel on DIF Slack.

🔐 Applied Crypto WG


Members of our Applied Cryptography work group have been doing a fabulous job preparing the IETF draft for BBS+signatures which iterates the early DIF draft in preparation for the next IETF meeting in March. There is one new JavaScript implementation of the draft and the group is close to having a complete set of test vectors that will be cross-validated by multiple implementations (and hopefully be part of the new version that will be pushed to the CFRG working group at IETF before the next annual meeting).The draft is close to becoming quite stable. DIF Member Greg Bernstein has made a fantastic online application for people to test BBS+ which can be found here.

More attendance, reviews and implementations are always welcome.

The DIF Crypto - BBS+ work item meets weekly at 11am PT/2pm ET /8pm CET Mondays

Crypto Revocation Work Item bi-weekly

The group is looking for more participation at this time, particularly from potential implementers of low-level libraries for the novel revocation schemes the group has been researching and documenting. If you’re interested in contributing and helping to drive work on this, please reach out to limari@identity.foundation.

The DIF Crypto Revocation work item meets bi-weekly at 11am PT/2pm ET/8pm CET Thursdays

📡 DIDComm User Group: (Open Group)

For those who have been away from DIF for a while, the DIDComm “Unsyc” has now been reformed into the DIDComm User Group, which meets Mondays at 12 pm PT. The group is open and non-IPR protected. The group is currently discussing creating a DIDComm user guide in addition to a DIDComm testing tool, a training course, and a browser-based DIDComm-focused playground with the intention of helping the community understand and extend DIDComm v2. Feel free to join the group meeting or contribute to the discussion on Discord.

The DIDComm user group meets weekly at 12pm PT/3pm ET/ 9pm CET Mondays

🌳 Sidetree Weekly Work Group

DIF is restarting the Sidetree weekly meeting and the group is getting to work on bug fixes and specification clarifications/errata for a v1.1. Some features they’re looking to add to v2 are more human-friendly named aliases and more flexible cryptography support. Be on the lookout for a survey on what people would like to see for v2 in the coming weeks.

Sidetree Weekly Work Group meets at 10am PT/ 1pm ET/ 7pm CET Tuesdays

💡 Identifiers and Discovery Work Group

In the Identifiers and Discovery work group there was recently a presentation by Christoph Fabianek about a DID validator called DID Lint and SOyA, or Semantic Overlay Architecture. SOyA is a data model authoring and publishing platform and also provides functionalities for validation and transformation.

There has also been ongoing discussion about the finer points of rotating and revoking keys in DID documents, and how that relates to VC issuance and verification and the VC extension pattern formerly and elsewhere known as “holder binding”. The working group keeps detailed meeting minutes which can be found here.

Here are the updates on the Universal Resolver drivers since December:

Updated support for did:ebsi
Added support for did:algo
Removed support for did:work (deprecated)
Added support for did:3

A Update on Universal Registrar drivers since December:

Added support for did:cheqd

You can explore more here.

Identifiers and Discovery meets bi-weekly at 11am PT/ 2pmET/ 8pm CET Mondays

📦 Secure Data Storage

DWN Task Force (Decentralized Web Nodes)

We want to give a big welcome to our new co-chair to the DIF Secure Data Storage Group, Andor Kesselman. Andor is the CTO and co-founder of [Benri,]
(http://benri.io/) a company that specializes in providing tools and infrastructure for developer onboarding into DWNs. Prior to entering the SSI industry, Andor was a founding engineer at pathr.ai and co-authored RK-Diagrams. Along with his involvement with DIF, Andor serves as co-chair of the Trust Registry Task Force and as an editor of the Trust Registry Architecture at Trust Over IP. He is dedicated to making DWNs more accessible to a wider audience and welcomes any questions you may have on the topic. Don't hesitate to reach out to him!

The DWN work group has been delighted by the enthusiastic participation of the community and their ongoing interest in expanding the specifications. Recently, there have been some exciting developments to the Protocols interface, allowing for the description of arbitrary protocols to interface with DWNs. Additionally, the Collections interface has been updated, and we are thrilled to see real-world applications being built and demonstrated during the work group meetings. To further encourage the adoption of DWNs and lower barriers to implementation, the co-chair has initiated the DWN companion guide. They warmly invite all DIF members to join us every Wednesday bi-weekly at 9AM PST to listen in on the working group's progress. TBD, a division of Block, has also been working to open-source tooling and onboarding to DWNs, in addition to the core sample implementation.

DIF/CCG Secure Data Storage WG - DWN Task Force meets bi-weely at 9am PT/12pm ET/6pm CET Wednesdays

👝Wallet Security Work Group

A new work item is about to kick off called Universal Wallet Backup Containers. This work item was spun up following activity at the last IIW relating to a standard interface for storage to backup/restore wallet information to and from. This group is also looking to engage wallet vendors to discuss common problems relating to wallet backup and recovery to avoid pitfalls and focus on universal benefits that can be quick wins. They are looking for members to help participate in the new work item and vendors interested in participating in a forum discussion on wallet backup and recovery. DIF Wallet Security is also looking forward to working with Open Wallet Foundation, which just held their opening session last month.

They are on the lookout for a new co-chair. Please reach to limari@identity.foundation if you’re interested in volunteering.

The Wallet Security Work Group meets weekly at 9am PT/ 12pm ET/ 6pm CET Tuesdays

📖 Open Groups at DIF

☂️ DIF Interoperability Group

Our DIF Interoperability Group is looking for a new co-chair. This is a great opportunity to collaborate across communities and welcome new ideas and discussion on interoperability. Please reach out to Limari Navarrete at limari@identity.foundation if you are interested in putting your hat in the ring.

On February 8th we were joined by Bonnie Yau who is the VP of Assessment Services and Service Enablement at IDLab of Canada. She gave a summary of IDLab’s work which looks to empower Pan-canadian conversations through research, exploring digital trust in Canada and throughout the world. She shared some of IDLab’s findings and hypotheses on interoperability. You can view the whole presentation on DIF’s YouTube channel.

On February 22nd we were delighted to have a discussion with Maaike Van Leuwen who is a cybersecurity and cryptographic researcher at the Netherlands-based research institute TNO. She shared a comprehensive overview of SSI (Self-Sovereign Identity) standardization that she has pulled together and is looking for others to contribute. If you would like to review and add to this overview you can find the link here.

On Wednesday, March 8th, we will be having a freestyle discussion on formalization and proofs of the underlying SSI architecture. We are excited to announce that Dr. Ryan Wisneksy of Conexus AI will join the call to share his insights from the viewpoint of an applied mathematician.

The DIF Interoperability group meets you bi-weekly at 8am PT/11am ET/5pm CET Wednesdays

📊 Product Managers

The DIF Product Managers group welcomed Jan Vereeken of Meeco on February 16th. Jan is the Chief Product Officer for the Belgium-based company which is building enterprise tools allowing people and organizations to access, control and create mutual value from personal data.

He is overseeing a personal data & distributed ledger platform that enables people to securely exchange data called Secure Vault Exchange or SVX.

DIF Product Managers meets bi-weekly at 8am PT/ 11am ET/ 5pm CET Thursdays


The new IoT SIG (Internet of Things Special Interest Group) had its first DIF-hosted meeting in January after a long and productive history as a pillar of the Sovrin Foundation community. They are looking to invite various speakers to participate and they are discussing potential use cases that they will further develop as a group. This is an open meeting so please feel free to drop-in, spread the word, and invite non-members to attend and participate!

The IoT SIG meets bi-weekly at 10am PT/1pm ET/ 7pm CET Wednesdays

🏦 Banking and Finance SIG

There has been a time change for the Banking and Finance SIG Call. Please update your calendar if you had previously copied over the event, as there is a new zoom meeting link! The SIG has been on break for the beginning of the year and looks to resume in March.

The SIG will now be meeting bi-weekly at 2pm PT/ 5pm ET/ 11pm CET Thursdays

🌏 APAC/ASEAN Discussion Group

We invite everyone in the APAC region to join our monthly calls and contribute to the discussion. You will be able to find the minutes of the latest meeting here.

The DIF APAC call takes place Monthly on the 4th Thursday of the month. Please see the DIF calendar for updated timing.

🌍 DIF Africa Discussion Group

We are in need of someone to chair this process. Let us know if you’re interested in building, organizing and hosting monthly meetings.

Occurs on the first Thursday of the month at 9am UTC

📢 Announcements at DIF

Open Wallet Foundation

DIF participated in the February 23 launch of the Open Wallet Foundation (OWF) by contributing to the press release and launch webinar. DIF and the Open Wallet Foundation and are both part of the Linux Foundation, and contribute to Open Standards and Open-Source Software respectively, which are proven mechanisms to scale open technology projects and ecosystems. DIF is looking forward to working closely with OWF in the coming months.

DIF Member Spotlights

DIF has begun a spotlight series for our Associate membership. If you are interested in being featured, reach out to DIF's Senior Director of Community Engagement, Limari Navarrete, limari@identity.foundation. We recently featured Kabir Maiga, co-founder of a decentralized access company called PassiveBolt and Tarun Gaur, co-founder and CEO of a cybersecurity company that has developed a decentralized web browser called qixfox. You can view the member spotlights and transcripts on DIF’s Youtube page.

New Member Orientations

If you are new to DIF join us for our upcoming new member orientations. Please subscribe to DIF’s eventbrite for upcoming notifications on orientations and events which can be found here.

🗓️ ️Community Events

AMA with Daniel Buchner
Thursday March 2nd, DIF will be hosting a one-hour Ask me Anything (AMA) with Daniel Buchner on Decentralized Web Nodes or DWNs at 11am PT/2pm ET/ 8pm CET. There are still tickets available. Register now while you still have a chance!

Internet Identity Workshop
We are looking forward to IIW XXXVI coming up April 18th-20th 2023. Several members of DIF attend and it’s a great place to meet, learn and advance topics, code and new ideas. DIF will be holding a half day event prior to IIW. Keep posted for more details coming soon.

🗣️ DIF Member Announcements

We are excited to hear that DIF member Danube Tech are putting together a new series of videos and blog posts about various aspects of DIDs.
Here is the first video and blog post titled:"The Power of DIDs #1: DID Resolution"

🆔 Join DIF!

If you would like to get in touch with us or become a member of the DIF community, please visit our website.

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