Chris Skinner on Self Sovereign Identity

Chris Skinner is a leading writer and thinking for banking and financial technology (FinTech). He nailed a story about Equifax here: Imperative Self Sovereign Identity — Get Lost Equifax.

He describes a long laundry list of hacks and breaches that the banking industry has felt and then dives into a very good description of what Self Sovereign Identity is. He’s handled it very, very well as he almost always does. Chris is by far my favourite FinTech writer and thinker. (BTW: his book Value Web is a must read for anyone in banking or FinTech).

I particularly enjoy Chris’ short description of self sovereign identity:

With self-sovereign identity, you would hold all of the different elements of your online identity in a “box” or “wallet”, and would then be able to choose which of those elements to reveal in any given context.

Chris also brings the Don and Alex Tapscott’s Blockchain Revolution into play here (another great book). When I read through it I was surprised that Identity, and more particularly, self sovereign identity, didn’t warrant its own chapter. Then I did some more thinking and realized I couldn’t figure out how to isolate because Identity played a key role in each chapter. EVERY technology shift they mention is based on solving digital identity.

One area that banks are particularly vulnerable on is the social engineering that happens with call centres. People can pretty easily spoof their way in. I wonder if Chris is aware of the CULedger Call Center project that is underway. It uses Evernym and Sovrin to provide out-of-band authentication that is tied to Sovrin (self sovereign identity). This is a perfect example of a simple process that uses advanced technology to both improve the user experience and provide way more security.

If you want to learn more about Self Sovereign Identity drop by my SSI page over at Continuum Loop. It’s one of the boutique consulting services that we focus on.

disclosure: I am an advisor for and investor in Evernym. I am normally vendor-agnostic in my work, but on self sovereign identity I am nearly 100% biased to Sovrin. I am a believer. Not quite a zealot though.


Originally published at Darrell O’Donnell, P.Eng..