DIF Newsletter #35

· 9 min read
DIF Newsletter #35

September 2023

DIF Website | DIF Mailing Lists | Meeting Recording Archive

Table of contents

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

🚀 Decentralized Identity Foundation News

Steering Committee Elections
DIF’s new Steering Committee has been elected! The results will be revealed on the DIF Blog on 2 October and our new members will be invited to join the upcoming Steering Committee meeting on 5 October. Stay tuned!

Human-Centric Digital Identity
DIF is thrilled to contribute to a landmark paper, Human-Centric Digital Identity for Government Officials, published this week.

The paper was announced during the OECD Panel on Recommendations for Digital Identity Governance on 26 September. It was commissioned by The OpenID Foundation and edited by Elizabeth Garber and Mark Hainewith, with input from 12 contributing organizations including DIF.

Source: Human-Centric Digital Identity for Government Officials

DIF's Executive Director, Clare Nelson, commented: "DIF is honored and delighted to be a contributor to the Human-Centric Digital Identity white paper. Many DIF members work on national identity programs, and need a single source that spans everything from policy to threat modeling. We thank OpenID for taking leadership to commission and organize this effort, including collection of input from numerous industry experts."

ID Day
DIF joined dozens of other organisations to celebrate Identity Day (ID Day) on 16 September. The campaign by ID4Africa seeks worldwide recognition of the fundamental right and practical necessity of having proof of identity in today’s digital age. The chosen date symbolizes UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.9, which aims to provide legal identity including birth registration to all individuals by 2030.

DIF is delighted to become an Official Coalition Partner of ID4Africa and is committed to supporting Executive Chairman Dr Joseph Atick and his team to raise awareness of ID Day, decentralized identity and key use cases.


Click here for an overview of the 13 use cases represented in the above image.

Next Generation Authentication Workshop
Members of the DIF Korea SIG and Steering Committee member Markus Sabadello were among attendees at the 2023 Next Generation Authentication Research Society Workshop in Yongsan, Seoul earlier this month.

The event was hosted by the Korea Institute of Information Security and Cryptology (KIISC). Strong interest in Decentralized Identity was evident, with Decentralized Identifiers, Verifiable Credentials, eIDAS, Digital Wallets, Selective Disclosure and Multi-Sig Credentials among the topics presented and discussed.



More about this event on the DIF blog.

JP Morgan Onyx Hackathon
DIF is supporting a Digital Identity Hackathon sponsored by Onyx by JP Morgan. This 4 week innovation sprint challenges participants to reinvent the future of online identity security and privacy, with prizes for helping to improve the Onyx SSI SDK in 5 areas: add support for a new DID method or support the Universal Resolver, provide support for JSON-LD Credentials, implement a new Credential Revocation scheme, implement the SD-JWT spec for selective disclosure, implement support for OIDC, DIDComm or Presentation Exchange.

Our thanks to Steering Committee members Markus Sabadello and Sam Curren, who inspired many participants to dive into relevant DIF tools and protocols with workshops on the Universal Resolver / Universal Registrar and an Introduction to DIDComm (you can view the workshops on YouTube by clicking the links).

GSM Association adds its support to BBS
Image © GSMA

The GSM Assocation, which represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide, has declared its support for the BBS Signature Scheme. GSMA Europe highlighted the need for accelerated standardisation of BBS and definition of its end-to-end use in its Official Response on eIDAS 2.0 and Privacy

Here is an exerpt from the paper: "In the context of eIDAS 2.0 this translates as follows: 1. Identification of “strictly necessary” information: there is a need for the definition / standardisation of requests and the acceptable attributes to be requested for each purpose (i.e., for each use case). We would welcome and participate to an EC initiative tackling this point.2. Technical means to provide only the “strictly necessary” information: protocols or technologies need to support the minimisation of shared information, including supporting Yes/No questions. To our knowledge, the only current technology that can achieve this is ZKP (particularly combined with a ZKP-enabled signature scheme of the BBS+ family)."

🛠️ Working Group Updates

💡Identifiers and Discovery Work Group

Activities during August and September included a presentation of did:plc by Bryan Newbold (BlueSky) and a discussion about did:web improvement proposals by Dmitri Zagidulin.

Sam Curren proposed a new work item, "did-method-enum", to express support for DID methods.

JC Ebersbach led a discussion about CRUD operations and access control of did:web DIDs and also presented a browser plugin that displays VCs from a web server.

Recordings and notes can be found here: https://github.com/decentralized-identity/identifiers-discovery/blob/main/agenda.md

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

🔐 Applied Crypto WG

Greg Bernstein and Vasilis Kalos are presenting the BBS Signature Scheme to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Crypto Reading Club on 18 October.

NIST projects include Privacy-Enhancing Cryptography (PEC), an initiative to develop reference material and prepare future guidance about advanced cryptographic tools (such as MPC, ZKP, FHE, PSI) that can be used for applications of privacy and public auditability.

Topics that will be covered during DIF's presentation on 18 October include a walk through of the math underlying BBS Signatures, what groups are used where (G1, G2), keys, signature generation/verification, proof generation/verification, where pairings occur and proved properties of the scheme / associated assumptions.

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

📦 Secure Data Storage

Decentralized Web Node (DWN) Task Force
The DWN beta release is targeted for November, with features including cross-device/app sync, encryption of records, capability-based role-centric permissions, and multi-party app data propagation.

The DWN Task Force is currently seeking help with updating the draft specification to match the reference implementation, located here.

The Task Force warmly invites all DIF members to join us and listen in on progress. TBD, a division of Block, has also been working on open-source tooling and onboarding to DWNs, in addition to the core sample implementation. Also a reminder that the DWN companion guide is now available.

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

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

Claims & Credentials Working Group

Work on Trust Establishment has re-commenced, led by Sam Curren. The calls take place weekly on Monday at 10am PT.

If you are interested in participating in any of the Working Groups highlighted above, or any of DIF's other Working Groups, please click here.

📖 Open Groups at DIF

☂️ DIF Interoperability Group

If you are interested in speaking in the User Adpotion and Interop series, or simply want to bounce around some interop thoughts and ideas, please reach out to group co-chairs Bonnie Yau, Brent Shambaugh or Elena Dumitrascu on Slack.

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

[📡 DIDComm User Group] (Open Group)

The DIDComm GuideBook keeps improving with more content and a new look thanks to the work of Sam Curren from Indicio. You can find it at https://book.didcomm.org

DIDComm mediators were boosted with contribution from the community. Colton Wolkins from Indicio explained how its new open source tool SocketDock helps scale mediator implementations; and Fabio Pinheiro from IOHK presented an open source test suite that validates compatibility among mediators and its underlying protocols.

New and improved protocols: Ariel Gentile from 2060.io added three new protocols intended for chat applications based on DIDComm. Also Fabio Pinheiro proposed several improvements to mediator’s protocols that were discussed within the group and finally approved.

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


The IoT SIG is currently polling participants to gauge interest in a range of potential work items, based on topics discussed during group calls or posted on our Github page.

You can view the proposed topics / work items and register your interest here. Alternatively, you can post a new topic or respond to existing threads on our Github page here.

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

🏦 Banking and Finance SIG

The SIG meets 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

DIF seeks new Executive Director
DIF is looking for a new Executive Director. Our outgoing ED, Clare Nelson, commented: "It is time for me to spend more time with my family. This decision was not made lightly, as I have genuinely appreciated my time here and the valuable experiences I have gained during my tenure at DIF. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given."

If you are interested in putting yourself forward for this role, or know of someone suitable who might be interested, please review the job description and reach out to Clare on Slack if relevant.

System Administrator
DIF is also hiring a 1/2-time System Administrator, you can find the job description here.

Internet Identity Workshop

Photo by Doc Searls, licensed under Creative Commons

Anticipation is building for IIW, which returns to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California from 10 to 12 October, with DIF as an official sponsor for the first time.

IIW is where the decentralized identity community and wider technology ecosystem come together to progress ongoing topics and kick-start new initiatives. A short documentary about the work that has happened at IIW over the years, entitled “Not Just Who They Say We Are: Claiming our Identity on the Internet“, is available here.

DIF looks forward to catching up with friends and colleagues at the event - come join us for pre-IIW happy hour at Stein at 5pm on Monday 9 October if you can! To register for IIW, click here.

Interoperability Summit
DIF is participating in an Interoperability Summit alongside governments, international institutions, standards organisations and other parts of the digital identity ecosystem alongside OpenID Foundation, Open Wallet Foundation, FIDO (Fast Identity Online), the Trust over IP Foundation and OIX (The Open Identity Exchange).

The Summit takes place on 28th November in Paris during Trustech 2023, with the goals to address the lack of coordination across digital identity standards activities, gather global alignment, bridge between communities with diverse requirements and technical approaches and promote reusuability and interoperability across the technology stack.

Future Identity Festival
DIF's Senior Communications Director, Damian Glover is participating in a panel discussion entitled "Will Web3 rewrite the rules of user identity?" at the Future Identify Festival in London on 13 November. Please get in touch on Slack if you're planning to attend the event.

🗓️ ️Community Events

Guest blog - Condatis / NHS Digital Staff Passport

DIF recently spoke to Chris Eckl, CTO of Condatis to hear his perspective on the NHS Digital Staff Passport, which is built on the Issuer-Holder-Verifier model and is set to move from pilot into production.

Member spotlight - Finema

DIF sat down with Pakorn Leesakul, the CEO and Founder of Finema, and his innovation Manager Nuttawut Kongsuwan, to learn more about their decentralized identity platform and how they have been impacting the Southeast Asia region.

We hope you enjoy watching. Click here to learn more about Finema.

🗣️ DIF Member Announcements

DIDaaS solution
DIF member Social Change Platforms is seeking collaborators to help build an Enterprise-ready open-source DIDaaS solution based on ready-to-use DIF components. Reach out to Steve LeMay for questions or to join the effort: lemaysteve333@gmail.com; you can view details of their PoC here

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.

🆔 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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