Ever stopped to think about your digital identity? It’s something we all have, whether we realize it or not. You contribute to your digital identity whenever you post something online, create an account, or interact with someone online.
But what exactly is a digital identity, and how does it differ from your physical identity? Essentially, a digital identity is a representation that allows you to prove who you are online. It includes your name, birth date, usernames and passwords, profile picture, purchasing history, and personal information.
Your digital identity is the data or content you produce and choose to share online. It’s your data, right? But the truth is you don’t own it.
Did you know cybercriminals make millions through formjacking attacks and stealing credit cards from businesses?
As a food supplier, how can you easily trace the source of a contaminated batch of products to its origin?
Imagine finding out your doctor had a fake degree. How would you feel?
Although somewhat unrelated, these situations all tie back to the issues with centralized identity and verification systems.
Our digital identity was largely controlled by centralized entities such as social media platforms or government agencies. This meant that we had to trust these entities to store and manage our personal information, and we had little control over how it was used.
This lack of control and privacy can be problematic, as centralized entities can be hacked or abuse their power. For example, we have seen numerous instances of social media platforms selling users’ personal data to third parties without their knowledge or consent. This abuse of power can have serious consequences for individuals, including identity theft and online harassment.
Blockchain and Web3 can solve these problems to level up and reshape our digital identities.
Web3 is the next generation of the World Wide Web, built on blockchain technology. One of the key features of web3 is decentralized identity (DID) systems, which offer a new way for individuals to control and manage their digital identity.
Digital identity in Web3 is based on the notion that everyone will have a unique identifier on a blockchain. Users will own their identity, backed by on-chain data, with the ability to be linked to any software or transferred to different platforms.
When it comes to decentralized identity, the main idea is known as Self-Sovereign Identity, which is a model that gives individuals control and full ownership of their digital identities.
There are three pillars of Self-Sovereign Identity:
With DIDs, you can create a digital identity tied to your physical identity, but that is completely under your control. This means you can choose which personal information to share and with whom, and you can even create multiple digital identities for different purposes. For example, you can create a separate digital identity for your personal life and a separate one for your professional life.
This is made possible by a digital wallet, which becomes your identity — multiple wallets mean multiple identities.
All these means that as blockchain technology evolves and grows, we’ll be able to access different services available with different wallets we control.
By using web3 technologies, we can create a more decentralized and open online environment where individuals have more agency and control over their own identity. This can lead to more innovation and competition, ultimately benefiting the end user.
You might be wondering which brands are already working on these unique digital identifiers. Here are some examples:
Our NFTID will use Web3 and NFT technology to give control back to users and reshape how we view our digital identities.
We created NFTID (nifdy) decentralized identification system that can be used worldwide by individuals or organizations. This system allows people to identify themselves uniquely and choose which pieces of personal information they want to share.
To test this idea, we’ll create Rebus Nation. While NFTID won’t replace traditional legal documents, it provides an alternative way for people to identify themselves. Even minors can set up an NFTID as long as they can navigate the DeFi (decentralized finance) protocol.
One of the benefits of NFTID is that it allows anyone to deviate from the traditional format of their legal documents. For example, you can input your name in all lowercase letters or use completely fictitious data. This gives you more flexibility and control over your digital identity.
The full potential of NFTIDs (non-fungible token-based decentralized identities) hasn’t been realized yet, but as more people become familiar with the idea, the potential is limitless. The primary goal is to build a strong community around non-fungible assets and continually expand how they can be used. As more people adopt NFTIDs and find new ways to use them, the possibilities for their utility will continue to grow.
Earlier in 2022, the team at Polygon announced that they are developing a new product called Polygon ID. It’s a decentralized identity system that uses zero-knowledge-proof technology. The product portfolio includes a wallet app, an ID platform, and a public service platform to help users access their wallets and applications more easily.
Polygon ID is powered by the Iden3 protocol and the Circom ZK toolkit. This means it’s built on top of cutting-edge technologies that help to ensure the security and privacy of users’ personal information. With Polygon ID, you can have more control over your digital identity and have confidence that your personal information is stored securely.
Dock Certs is another example of how web3 is reimagining digital identity. Dock Certs is a suite of tools for organizations to issue digital credentials and certificates using Verifiable Credentials (VCs). Their newest product, Web3 ID, is a blockchain-based authentication and authorization system that allows organizations to request private user data securely.
You can give permission to reveal or confirm the information without revealing the data. This gives users more control over their personal information and ensures that it is handled securely and privately. By using Web3 ID, organizations can streamline their processes and improve their systems’ security while also allowing users to protect their privacy.
Web3 and decentralized identity systems offer a new way for individuals to control and manage their digital identity. By giving us more control and privacy, these technologies have the potential to create a more decentralized and equitable online environment