🚀DIF monthly #7

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

· 7 min read
🚀DIF monthly #7

March, 2020

Welcome to the 2020 March 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

1st Secure Data Storage Meeting (formerly IdH/PDS/EDV or “Superfriends”)

  • The goal of the first call is to start the alignment on scope, requirements and use cases for the future joint Working Group between W3C CCG and DIF. The call is open for everyone.
  • SDS: Specification for a foundational layer for secure data storage (including personal data), specifically data models for storage and transport, syntax, data at rest protection, CRUD API, access control, synchronization, and a minimum viable HTTP-based interface compatible with W3C DIDs/VCs.
  • Time: 12 pm ET - 13th March, Friday. (9 am PST or 5 pm CET)
  • Sign up for the call here. (To receive a Calendar invite)

New Section: Funding

  • For funding opportunities from decentralized identity related initiatives, check the new Funding section below.

DIF members F2F meeting - April 27th - before IIW

  • DIF is hosting its bi-annual in-person meeting one day prior to spring IIW. The goal of this meeting is to speed up development and align alternatives on the work-items supported by the working groups. The meeting is also a good opportunity for DIF members to get to know their peers and establish bonds beyond PR debates.
  • For DIF members to register - reach out to events@identity.foundation .

On the COVID-19 Situation

  • DIF would like to express its support for every member of the decentralized identity ecosystem, who is affected by the international coronavirus-outbreak. We are asking everyone to stay safe and look after each other in the upcoming months.

🛠️ Working Group Updates

☂️ InterOp Project

Demonstrating interoperability across various teams/project and technology stack.

Chairs: Orie Steele & Rouven Heck
GitHub Repos: <interop> | <context> | <ecdsa-secp256k1> | <issues-28> | <osip-ssi-demo>
credential-handler-polyfill> | <encrypted-data-vaults> | <edv-client> | <vc-json-schemas>

  • Implemented a simple demo showing how to move data from a CHAPI wallet to an encrypted data vault, and from an encrypted data vault to CHAPI. Link.

Added the OSIP Demo that was worked on by Spherity, Jolocom & Accenture to the interoperability repo. Link.

In the near future:

Have a meeting regarding Encrypted Data Vaults / Secure Data Hubs.

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.

Identifiers & Discovery

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

Chairs: Jude Nelson, Markus Sabadello & Sam Smith
GitHub Repos: <universal resolver> | <.well-known> | <sidetree> | <keri> | <context>

  • Completed the new ID WG Charter. Link.
  • Discussed JSON-LD context issues and new W3C DID Core registry, and the implications for the Universal Resolver and its drivers. Link.

Learned about multiple implementation efforts of KERI (in JavaScript and Python).

In the near future:

  • Prepare for DIF-hosted public instance of Universal Resolver.
  • Align Universal Resolver and its drivers with efforts to fix JSON-LD contexts.
  • Continue work on KERI and proof-of-control-authority.

🛡️ Claims & Credentials

Verifying claims and assertions of identities.

Chairs: Martin Riedel, Wayne Chang & Jonathan Reynolds
GitHub Repos: <did-jwt-wc> | <papers> | <credential-manifest>

  • First Taxonomy resources. Link.

Presentation Definition & Submission: Working on issue resolution. Link

In the near future:

  • Release of Working Group Charter / Operating Charter
  • Extension of Taxonomy Collection
  • Presentation Definition/Submission work.

DID Auth

DID-based authentication specs, standards, and libraries.

Chairs: Kyle den Hartog & Oliver Terbu
GitHub Repos: <authentication-wg> | <did-siop> | <did-authn/siop>

  • Legal and Operational Charter finalized.

Working on SIOP reference implementation with Albert Solana (Validated ID), who has a first PR ready.

In the near future:

  • Finalize SIOP reference implementation.

DID Comm

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

Chairs: Sam Curren, Oliver Terbu & Tobias Looker
GitHub Repos: <DIDComm-js> | <didcomm-messaging>

  • Established an outline and accepted the first sections of spec content, including initial content on routing and transports.

Several issues have prompted excellent technical discussions on representing endpoint information outside of a DID Doc and the conceptual target of a DID Document.

In the near future:

  • Additional content submissions and PRs.


The development and maintenance of the formal Sidetree specification,

Chairs: Orie Steele & Daniel Buchner
GitHub Repos: <sidetree>

Focused on laying the foundation for the spec, including agreeing to semantic versioning, with distinct versions for the reference implementation in typescript and the spec in markdown / spec-up.

In the near future:

  • Transitioning to a mono repo, which we plan to tackle towards the end of March.
  • Setup the CI/CD system for spec updates, and publish a first draft of the spec.
  • Reduce protocol drift between element and ion.

Industry News

Decentralized Identity: Blockchain ID & Self-Sovereign Identity Solutions

  • This Market Compass covers decentralized identity, specifically Blockchain Identity and Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) solutions. This is a very dynamic space filled with visionary and innovative vendors that are applying decentralized identity to real enterprise use cases. Their development marks the entrance of blockchain technology into mainstream enterprise Identity and Access Management (IAM), and their progress will indicate the future evolution of digital identity.
  • Learn more here.

The Rulebook

  • The _Rulebook _is a roadmap and comprehensive framework for crypto firms, virtual asset service providers (VASPs), peer-to-peer and blockchain network payment platforms and many other new and growing financial services providers to drive incentivized self-governance. It works to ensure these companies understand how their activities resemble, replicate and intersect with their more-traditional counterparts. It also helps guarantee that companies meet regulatory safeguards and grow their businesses while ensuring the financial system remains safe, secure and accessible for all.
  • You can find the Rulebook here.

🦄 Member Updates


  • Elastos released its flagship product elastOS in January 2020. elastOS is an application currently available for Android users that acts as a gateway into the decentralized internet that Elastos is building. One app within the app is the DID dApp. Read more.


  • The Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Wissenschaft und Digitalisierung des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt (MWIDE), with support from cosinex and Accenture, concluded an interoperability OSiP pilot enabling a journalist to enter a security-critical event using either Jolocom or Spherity identity wallets. Read more.


Data Portability & Services Incubator - European Commission (EU)

  • A 9-months-long supporting program, powered by the European Commission, with a €5.6 Million fund for innovators developing solutions in the Data Portability field.
  • Participants get:
  • Up to** €150K equity-free funding**
  • Free infrastructure, training in business and data, and coaching.
  • Learn more here.

eSSIF Lab Framework - European Self Sovereign Identity Framework (EU)

  • eSSIF-Lab will support the provision of open-source SSI components for eSSIF-Lab Framework, which will be applied at a later stage by other innovators in eSSIF-Lab.
  • Applicants shall be willing and able to work in an agile way with lots of communication and interaction with other participants in the eSSIF-Lab ecosystem, together developing the eSSIF-Lab Framework and testing the interoperability of delivered components.
  • Up to €155K funding
  • Learn more here.


KNOW Identity Conference - Las Vegas, USA

April 5-8, 2020

  • The event brings together a community of executives, thought leaders, product leaders, and rising startups to reimagine how we enable identity in the digital economy. Attend KNOW Identity to forge new relationships, learn the latest industry trends, and make identity work better for everyone. Use discount code DIF2020 for 10% off the current registration price!
  • Learn more here.

DIF Pre-IIW F2F Meeting - Sunnyvale, USA
April 27, 2020

  • Business as usual: join the DIF hands-on workshop in Sunnyvale’s Microsoft Office to discuss and work on outstanding projects and topics! Extended agenda is coming soon.
  • Learn more here.

XXX (#30) - Internet Identity Workshop - Mountain View, USA

April 28-30, 2020

  • The Internet Identity Workshop has been finding, probing, and solving identity issues twice every year since 2005. We meet in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Every IIW moves topics, code, and projects downfield. Name an identity topic, and it’s likely that more substantial discussion and work has been done at IIW than any other conference!
  • Learn more here.

European Identity and Cloud Conference 2020 - Munich, Germany
May 12-15, 2020

  • EIC offers a mixture of best practice discussions, visionary presentations, and networking opportunities with a future-oriented community. More than 100 thought leaders, leading vendors, analysts, visionaries, executives, and end-users get together in Munich to be inspired by a list of world-class speakers.
  • Learn more here.

🖋️ DIF / Media

Status on Decentralized Identity Standards and Specs

Nader Helmy, from Mattr Global, started a live document, capturing the current state of the decentralized identity ecosystem as it evolves. To add/comment to the table(s) of content use GitHub PRs. Read more.


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