Over the past few months, the DIF and Hyperledger Aries community have come together and agreed to work on a common work item aimed at developing secure communication based on Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) — hence the name DIDComm, which is short for DID Communication. Significant prior work in developing a messaging-based communication protocol using DIDs has been incubating in the HyperLedger (HL) Aries community, with the progress of this effort evident in the resulting Aries RFCs. To address the requirements of a broader and more heterogeneous community we selected DIF as the place to pursue the next phase of work associated with this effort. Presenting the progress of DIDcomm to other relevant working groups will drive the interoperability between the various decentralized identity vendors and hence enabling a range of decentralized identity-related use cases.
The idea of establishing an IPR-protected working group at the DIF arose during the 29th Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) in late 2019, where members of the community concluded that DIDComm is a key piece for an interoperable decentralized identity stack and should become a formal specification.
Due to the original setup of DIF as an organization that can deliver widely usable specifications with an IP protected framework. Under this framework, the delivered specifications can be used for implementations without concerns of IP infringements.
As a combined community we have recently agreed to the charter for the DIDComm working group and we are very excited to be starting this work at DIF on January 13th with our first formal WG meeting!
What’s the focus of the working group?
The focus of the DIDComm WG is to further evolve the work of the Hyperledger Aries community and reach a standardized secure messaging protocol built atop of Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs). It’s the hope that this messaging protocol can form the basis of how agents and wallets communicate to achieve use-cases like a verifiable credential exchange. The decision to focus on a messaging-based protocol is driven by a mixture of factors including the want from the community to have flexibility around the method of transport of messages and a desire to enable direct peer-to-peer style interactions.
The DIDComm WG at DIF will meet weekly via video conference on Monday at 12 pm PST / 9 pm CET.
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