For every Web3 developer building the next world-changing app, there's a marketer or communications professional working alongside them to make sure that the world-changing app not only makes it out into the world but is also understood by the world. Ask any non-technical professional in this field what the most challenging part of their job is and you’ll often hear, “Understanding what the heck has got our developers so excited.”
In this fast moving industry, keeping your knowledge up to date is at a premium & it’s not uncommon to leave a conversation feeling like you knew less than what you thought going in.
To help you understand what the heck your passionate crypto friends are talking about, we're launching this series of short articles to explain common Web3 concepts in simple & clear language.
Today, we're tackling Verifiable Credentials (VC) and their role in privacy and trust in Web3.
In the Web3 space, privacy and trust(lessness) are of utmost importance. One of the critical technologies that help achieve these goals is Verifiable Credentials (VC). Think of verifiable credentials as digital versions of real-life documents or qualifications, like passports, driver's licenses, or academic degrees. These credentials enable you to prove your identity, qualifications, or other personal information in a secure and privacy-preserving manner. Verifiable credentials play a crucial role in the Web3 ecosystem, as they offer several key benefits:
Verifiable credentials work through a combination of cryptography, digital signatures, and secure storage. The process usually involves three main parties: the issuer, the holder, and the verifier. Here's how it all comes together:
“Blockchains are transparent by design, meaning that connecting a wallet to a service can reveal the user's entire transaction and asset history. Verifiable credentials help address this privacy concern by allowing users to share only the specific information requested by a verifier, without exposing their entire transaction history.”
Litentry's IdentityHub takes advantage of verifiable credentials to create an infrastructure that enables privacy-preserving interactions in Web3. With the IDHub, users can manage, issue, and present various aspects of their digital identity in a secure and selective manner. This approach unlocks the full potential of privacy in Web3, empowering users to maintain control over their personal information and how it's shared. Verifiable credentials are a game-changing technology that promotes privacy, trust, and interoperability in the Web3 ecosystem. By integrating verifiable credentials into platforms like Litentry's IDHub, users can confidently share their personal information, knowing it's secure and only revealed to the intended recipient for a specific purpose. In the near term, we envision verifiable credentials being used to prove your talent, qualifications or skills during a pseudonymous job application process, ensuring that you're being fairly evaluated on your accomplishments and capabilities - rather than being judged (consciously or unconsciously) on your protected characteristics (like race, gender, sex, etc). We also see verifiable credentials providing access control through the verification of identity, proof of humanity, and Trust Your Customer (TYC) processes (as opposed to Know Your Customer or KYC) in financial contexts, like banking or lending. Verifiable credentials and the IdentityHub will make it possible to bring your 'necessary self', adapted to specific contexts, rather than bringing your 'whole self' all the time.
It's another way that we work to make your identity tangible, without being seen.
For a deeper dive on verifiable credentials and how we employ them, check out our Verifiable Credentials Series on Medium.