The Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF) was formed in 2017 to serve as a hub for open-source and emerging standards development for the decentralized identity ecosystem. In the years since we have witnessed rapid growth and maturity of the ecosystem. DIF itself has matured and increased its membership from just a handful to over 80 members from around the world.

I am humbled and grateful to have had the opportunity to lead DIF for two terms as Executive Director, but it is time for the next chapter in DIF’s leadership story, a chapter that begins with welcoming Rouven Heck as DIF’s new Executive Director. Rouven (as a co-founder of uPort) has been a part of DIF since the beginning and is passionate about the cause of decentralized identity. Rouven has diligently worked to advance important initiatives in DIF and across the community, so I am thrilled he has been selected to lead this organization through the challenges and successes to come.

— Daniel Buchner


DIF has principally operated with distributed decision-making processes in an ongoing effort to involve the growing decentralized identity community. I congratulate Daniel on two years of tireless work to establish and grow an organization that has become integral to the maturation of the industry. As one of the leading engineers in the space, I know he is delighted to shift his focus from daily operations to outstanding technical challenges. Thank you for all the contributions — we all look forward to our continued collaboration with you as an active DIF member.

I’m excited and humbled to take on this new role in the next phase of DIF’s evolution. I’ve been a part of this ecosystem for nearly four years and met many incredible individuals who have dedicated their careers to solving identity-related challenges. I am confident that bringing together experience and innovation is key for success to build a digital identity more equitably.

We recently initiated several efforts to advance DIF further — e.g. to become a more inclusive, open, collaborative platform since fundamentally changing digital identity can only be done in collaboration with a broad range of ecosystem participants; global interoperability and network efforts are critical for success. Hence the plan to focus on the increased collaboration with communities like Sovrin, Hyperledger, Veres One, and W3C to name a few.

I am here to learn more about the interests of our members and the wider community to ensure we incorporate the diverse needs and ideas of all DIF’s stakeholders in its continued evolution. Please reach out with ideas and proposals at @rouvenheck

In the coming weeks, we will share a more detailed vision and strategy after taking the time to consult with our members and the broader decentralized identity ecosystem.

— Rouven Heck

by Daniel Buchner and Rouven Heck

Decentralized Identity Foundation

DIF is building decentralized identity technology and standards

Decentralized Identity Foundation

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Decentralized Identity Foundation

DIF is building decentralized identity technology and standards

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