🚀DIF monthly #8

The Aril 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 #8

April, 2020

Welcome to the 2020 April 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

Secure Data Storage Working Group

  • The purpose of the new Working Group is to create one or more specifications to establish a foundational layer for secure data storage (including personal data), specifically data models for storage and transport, syntax, data at rest protection, CRUD HTTP API, access control, synchronization, and a minimum viable HTTP-based interface compatible with W3C DIDs/VCs.
  • The group accepted the scope and the rest of the Working Group Charter via consensus.
  • DIF and W3C clarified the IP transition question. A DIF WG can directly transfer work items to a W3C WG only by relying on DIF's IPR regime, making the transfer simple.
  • Chairs and editors are elected.
  • Learn more here


  • DIF APAC/ASEAN community had its third call this March with a packed meeting. Even better, the February call sparked the formation of a DID study group in Japan, which is starting regular virtual meetings.
  • We have also collected addresses of two groups of individuals interested in some severe hacking - one to work on DID/OpenID Connect and a second to work on demonstrating educational VC exchange between real institutions in different countries.
  • If you have a connection to APAC or ASEAN, please come and join us here.

🛠️ Working Group Updates

Identifiers & Discovery

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

Chairs: Markus Sabadello & Sam Smith
GitHub Repos: <universal resolver> | <.well-known> | <sidetree> | <keri> | <context> | <peer-did-method>

peer:DID is moving to ID WG. Link.

Discussed alignment of did:peer with KERI. Link.

Discussed Privacy-Preserving Discovery. Link.

Worked on DIF deployment of Universal Resolver.

In the near future:

Continue work on did:peer, KERI.

Continue deployment and maintenance of DIF Universal Resolver.

🛡️ Claims & Credentials

Verifying claims and assertions of identities.

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

Progress on the Presentation Exchange specification for proof presentations and submissions. Link.

Launched publicly-facing Credentials Taxonomy effort. Link.

Beginning to consolidate COVID-19 response.

In the near future:

COVID-19 involvement and response if appropriate.

12 full-fledged taxonomy examples linked to the VC-Examples W3C repo.

DID Auth

DID-based authentication specs, standards, and libraries.

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

Continued SIOP work with a reference implementation being worked and in progress by Validated ID.

In the near future:

Still need to discuss this. We're still looking for champions of new work.

DID Comm

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

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

Discussion of the proposed DID Exchange Protocol, and an alternate proposal to support a 0-RTT (Zero Round Trip Time) model. Topics also included supported key types.

In the near future:

Continue discussion of the DIDComm JWM Profile, 0-RTT models, and accepted key types. Goal is to reach resolution on these items soon.


The development and maintenance of the formal Sidetree specification,

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

Rapidly approaching a v1 for the formal Sidetree specification and on track to have it ready by early May.

The TypeScript reference implementation should also be ready for beta and v1 spec-compatible in the same time frame.

In the near future:

Harden the reference implementation in preparation for a v1 final and extend the supported key types to include ED25519.

☂️ InterOp

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> | <vc-examples>

CHAPI Queries.

DIDAuth examples.

VC HTTP Test Suite.

Interop Links.

In the near future:

More support for HTTP Interop Test Suite.

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.

Industry News

The Year We Had To Rethink How Conferences Worked
Women In Identity

  • People with a chronic health condition have always known that travelling to industry events is difficult. But Covid-19 has reminded us all of how the conference circuit is often out of reach for certain sectors of society. In this blog, Susan Morrow explains how events could actually become more inclusive for people with disabilities - which is especially important in the tech and identity community.

SSI? What We Really Need is Full Data Portability
Women In Identity

  • Despite numerous predictions by industry analysts that “self-sovereign identity” (“SSI”) would be a key trend by now, in reality there is still limited adoption outside of research labs and proofs of concept. Emily Fry and Elizabeth M. Renieris of Women in Identity argue the case for data portability in their new blogpost.

🦄 Member Updates


  • We are retooling our public VC libraries to integrate DID:elem, standardize VC schemas based on Schema.org types and extensions, and introducing an updated approach for Selective Disclosure. See the latest reference implementations here.


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.


XXX (#30) - Internet Identity Workshop - VIRTUAL!

April 28-30, 2020

  • The Internet Identity Workshop has been finding, probing, and solving identity issues twice every year since 2005. 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.

🖋️ DIF / Media

Peer DIDs moving to DIF’s ID Working Group
To deliver a DID method where instead of storing a DID doc in an oracle, they call for a DID doc to be exchanged with a peer. This makes them unsuitable for use cases that require public reputation, but it also gives them some useful characteristics, which is why they’ve become important in various places of a decentralized identity architecture. Read more.


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