What is Self-Sovereign Identity?

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Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is an approach where the individual controls and manages access to his or her digital identity, without the intervention of a third party (be it a service provider, private or public).

This approach is user-centric as it assumes that the individual has full control over the management of his or her personal data as it is now at the centre of all tripartite relationships that exist in the physical and digital world.

In a Self-Sovereign Identity approach, the user is at the centre of a tripartite relationship

Self-Sovereign Identity takes its cue from the physical world by putting the individual and his or her personal data at the centre of any experience. In this approach, a person wishing to open an online bank account need only provide proof of address or identity - issued by institutional issuers. The bank does not receive any personal data, just proof that the data exists and is authentic by verifying it directly with the issuer.

This approach is made possible by blockchain technology because it guarantees the immutability and security of the data anchored with the decentralisation of the register. Proving the existence and authenticity of a legal document without disclosing its content is possible because of the Zero-Knowledge Proof and selective disclosure.

For more information on Self-Sovereign Identity, please see our blog post.