Blockchain Identity Experts Ontology, Evernym, and the Sovrin Foundation Reach an Agreement on Digital Identity Consortium

Ontology has officially announced its partnership with Evernym and the Sovrin Foundation. The parties will collaborate on decentralized identifiers (DIDs) and verifiable credentials in an effort to further interoperability in the self-sovereign identity community. Bringing together the leaders in decentralized identity from the East and the West, this partnership aims to influence the landscape across the entire identity industry: “No single company can ‘win’ universal identity, but we believe one technology can”, said Chair of the Sovrin Foundation Board of Trustees and recognized identity pioneer Dr. Phil Windley.

In current identity management systems, we do not own our digital identity, we borrow identities from each of the websites or apps we use, which is inefficient, unsafe, and invasive of our privacy, not to mention it is stored in huge databases which we have witnessed can be misused. The Sovrin Network is designed to support interoperable, secure, and private identity management solutions and bring the trust, personal control, and ease-of-use of analog credentials — like driving licenses and employee ID cards — to the internet.

The three parties aim to build the tools for users to privately collect, share, and control their own digital credentials. Evernym designed and built the initial code for the Sovrin Network and donated it to the Sovrin Foundation. Their vision is that digital credentials can be rooted in different ledgers, while remaining seamless for the credential holder. Likewise, Ontology’s ONT ID uses W3C DID specifications to allow for a self-sovereign identity realized with verifiable claims; digital identity you own, not just control.

The parties will outline a strategic roadmap for collaboration to facilitate claims exchange and other interactions across ecosystems. They will collaborate on decentralized identifiers (DIDs) and verifiable credentials, explore interoperability, and collaborate on cryptographic systems for zero-knowledge proofs, which allows a “prover” to assure a “verifier” that they have knowledge of a secret or statement without revealing the secret itself.

Regarding the greater community, Evernym will introduce Ontology to, and assist in its onboarding to, various working groups and collaborations underway, including community initiatives like ZKLang and a shared crypto library. The parties will also collaborate in other areas, for example working on achieving the highest privacy standards such as meeting the stringent guidelines imposed by the European Union’s GDPR.

Talking on the partnership, Daniel Wen, Business Development Director of Ontology, said:

“After meeting with the Sovrin and Evernym teams, we realized we have the same vision of developing DIDs and bringing trust to the internet. Our collaboration will ensure the highest standards of self-sovereign identity and we are excited to work together as a leading consortium in the industry”.

CEO and Co-Founder of Evernym, Timothy Ruff, said:

“When I first read some of the writings from Ontology, it was obvious that our approaches to Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) were aligned. It only made sense that we work closely to ensure interoperability, and that privacy is not only protected, but enhanced. And when our teams met, we just clicked. It was awesome, and I am excited for the relationship”.

Chief Technology Officer of the Sovrin Foundation, Nathan George , added:

“Digital identity is a global problem that requires a global, interoperable solution. The Sovrin Foundation is delighted to be collaborating with Ontology on the development of the open source Hyperledger Indy codebase. This mutually beneficial effort will help drive the development of self-sovereign identity forward and ultimately supports Sovrin’s mission of creating a system for identity for all”.

About Evernym

Founded in 2013, Evernym helps organizations implement self-sovereign identity (SSI) through technologies that enable any person, organization, or connected thing to identify, authenticate, and connect peer-to-peer with any other person, organization or thing, without a platform in the middle and without contacting third parties. Evernym also helps individuals to manage and utilize their self-sovereign identity. Learn more at evernym.com.

About the Sovrin Foundation

The Sovrin Foundation is a nonprofit organization established to administer the Trust Framework governing the Sovrin Network, a public service utility, enabling self-sovereign identity on the internet. The Sovrin Network is operated by independent Stewards and uses the power of a distributed ledger for giving every person, organization, and thing the ability to own and control their own permanent digital identity.

Evernym was the original creator of the Sovrin open source code base. While Evernym is legally separate from Sovrin, understanding the connection is critical. Evernym knew that a global public utility for self-sovereign identity couldn’t be owned or controlled by anyone or it wouldn’t be self-sovereign. So Evernym worked with the global digital identity community to establish the independent Sovrin Foundation and contributed the open source code to the Linux Foundation where it became the Hyperledger Indy project.