Trust Registries

The concept behind Trust Registries is that a Digital Identity Wallet needs to know which DIDs to “trust” as a source of truth. At many levels, this “trust” translates to “authority.” Knowing that somebody, centralized or decentralized, is responsible for maintaining a list of trusted DIDs.

Simply put, a place to find answers to the hard questions that drive trust decisions. Examples:

  • Is the Issuer of this Digital Credential Authoritative?
  • Is the Verifier I will share my deeply personal information with Authorized (and responsible)?
  • What other trust registries are trusted by this trust registry.

To trust the verifiable credentials stored in a digital identity wallet, the wallet must be able to identify and trust the credential’s issuer. As a separate entity issues each credential, it is essential to determine the trustworthiness of an issuer before considering any credentials they create to be valid. Trust Hubs and Trust Registries, which compile information on reliable issuers, can confirm the trustworthiness of a credential’s issuer.

We need to know that our Digital Wallets are using the correct sources of truth, especially in an increasingly decentralized world. As time goes on, there will be definitive sources (e.g. a Trust Hub that lists all government Issuers for a country). Still, initially, the opportunity for spoofing and fraud needs attention. An enterprising young person may easily create a series of fake Digital Identity Documents masquerading as a province that hasn’t yet started doing so.

This Stuff is Hard

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