A French project is building “The Internet of Trust” — and says decentralized identifiers will be a crucial part of Web 3.0.
XSL Labs is developing a Secure Digital Identifier (otherwise known as SDI for short) that’s designed to ensure users have full control over their private information. In time, it’s hoped this approach will diminish the power of tech giants such as Facebook and Google.
SDI aims to limit the amount of data that is shared about ourselves online, without impeding access to goods and services. The project intends to ensure zero-knowledge proofs are utilized wherever possible, which add a further layer of security. As an example, this would mean a third party can verify that someone is over the age of 21 — without their precise date of birth being revealed.
This technology isn’t just about privacy and anonymity — it’s also about keeping data safe. XSL Labs says SDIs can create a “paradigm shift” in the security of personal information, eliminating scenarios where thousands of users can have their addresses and names exposed in a single hack. The use of blockchain technology and advanced cryptographic encryption mean malicious actors would only be able to hack into decentralized identities one by one — an exercise that would prove both difficult and time consuming.
A new era
XSL Labs says SDI is designed to be used interoperably, meaning that it will have full compatibility with other decentralized identity solutions.
At the beating heart of its offering is a “killer DApp” known as ONE. This software has been billed as the gateway to the SYL ecosystem. Not only will it keep track of how a person’s personal data is being used, but it will also unlock access to a suite of DApp extensions. A wallet will also be integrated into this app. ONE will be the only way to manage one’s own decentralized identity and to receive the verified credentials necessary to interact safely with a third-party service.
In the years to come, XSL Labs is hopeful that its infrastructure will be used for identification purposes across the internet — taking market share away from the likes of Facebook, which allow social media profiles to be used to log in to external sites.
But the big ideas don’t end here. Many of the most popular apps out there today — including Uber, Tinder and Airbnb — all depend on interacting with others. Each of these companies has suffered incidents where dishonest actors have taken advantage. London threatened to ban Uber after discovering that some drivers were using bogus identities, while Tinder has also had to contend with bouts of catfishing. Scammers have also been known to target Airbnb by launching fake listings that swindle holidaymakers out of cash.
XSL Labs says SDIs can be used to make sure that the person you’re interacting with is genuine — creating a “chain of trust” that doesn’t exist in our current digital world. This can also be a lot more convenient for consumers. They will only need to go through Know Your Customer checks once, speeding up the registration process across other platforms.
XSL Labs’ ICO is scheduled to conclude at the end of March. SYL tokens are being offered, which will unlock access to services throughout the ecosystem. It will also provide transfer of value, be used as gas for smart contracts, as digital identity monetization through Cortex, a future DApp that will allow the user to monetize parts of their identity data anonymously, and be used to reward verifiable credential issuers. Users will also be able to purchase verifiable credentials using SYL — enabling them to receive digital versions of official documents such as school diplomas, with issuers signing them with private keys.
Looking ahead, development of the SDI and of the ONE DApp is continuing, and they’re expected to be released and operational in 2021.
This project is hoping to improve security on the internet once and for all — and stop data from being stored in centralized, insecure and hackable databases. Given how high-profile incidents are still occurring, the team behind XSL Labs are determined to bring their solution to market.
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