Decentralized identifiers (DIDs) are a new standard, for both individuals and organizations, to create unique verifiable identifiers that can be used globally and are entirely under the control of the identity owner. With the creation of DID’s, the World Wide Web (WWW) Consortium is finally standardizing digital credentials that can function as verifiable claims. As the control over a DID is asserted using cryptography, these verifiable credentials do not require a registration authority, giving users full ownership and control over their digital credentials. To simplify, this means that you are in control of your own digital identity.
A sad, however very relevant, example is the entrepreneur who is directly affected by government measures to combat the corona crisis and who see their turnover vanish. Many entrepreneurs and associations, such as restaurants, cafes, and sports clubs, will have less demand or must close their doors temporarily. At home, employees start wondering whether their job is going to be there in the long run, and self-employed workers see that assignments are being reduced or canceled.
The European Commission has announced a Corona Response Investment Initiative (CRII) of € 37 billion for all EU Member States. The Dutch cabinet has opted for a massive and broad package that aims to preserve jobs and limit the economic consequences. With the potential deployment of billions per month, they support that people will keep their income and affected sectors, to make sure the catering and cultural industry will be able to survive during the crisis.
Nonetheless, the question for entrepreneurs is going to be: How do I know if I qualify for compensation and additional credit? Especially during these stressful times, exploring all the requirements that you must meet can be a hassle. It would be easier for entrepreneurs to make a simple claim that will eventually grant them compensation if they meet all requirements. Decentralized identifiers (DIDs) would make it possible to make personal claims that are tied to previous activities (such as working hours, etc.), and trigger payments automatically; in this case, the compensation.
With the Dutch application Mijn DigiD, citizens can verify their identity online with governmental backing. Mijn DigiD does not store any data, however only registers in your DigiD account that a check is carried out. Mijn DigiD, therefore, could function as a verified credential that proves your identity while the government backs it. How does this work for entrepreneurs? As an entrepreneur, you have a VAT ID and a turnover tax number that are both linked to your citizen service number.
Confirming to the Dutch Government that you are an entrepreneur should not be that difficult. However, verifying how much you have earned and how much you should get compensated can be a bit harder. Often, Entrepreneurs are victims of their administration, even with the use of a business bank account to separate private transactions from business transactions. In an ideal world, all transactions that are related to a business could be bundled together. As stated previously, a DID would make this possible.
This is favorable as (a) firstly, entrepreneurs no longer have to dig into their administration so that they can demonstrate that they are eligible for the compensation. Also, thanks to the immutability of transactions, they no longer have to prove that they have performed work since all activities are stored on the blockchain. Lastly, thanks to the built-in consent layer, they have the opportunity to provide parties with insight into their data, and subsequently, withdraw this insight whenever they are done.
How does this work concerning the General Data Protection Regulation? Due to the use of hashes and pointers, no data is being stored on the blockchain. This means that the information placed in the blockchain cannot be traced back to an individual, and therefore this method is GDPR proof. Also, thanks to Zero-Knowledge proof functions, you can now proof you are someone without disclosing information that has no specific added value.
Your identity has already been confirmed with a verified government reference: My DigiD. That reference will now be transportable, which means you can always verify your identity, without the disclosure of any other information.
Signing up for these financial services will no longer be rigorous identification procedures in which entrepreneurs need to verify who they are, what they have done, and what they deserve. This is especially beneficial in these times, where the demand and development of technical innovations will most likely increase enormously in the coming months due to the corona crisis.
While some companies might have moved to the cloud and are not looking to change their ways anytime soon, we do need to realize that we are living in a time where change has become a necessary part of your business culture. If adapting is not a part of your business culture yet, it needs to become part of it. Change doesn’t always mean that we need to throw out the old way and start a new one. Change sometimes means staying with the old and realizing possibilities that we did not see before. We don’t need to throw away our hardware that is fully functioning. Sometimes all we need to do is push for a new software update that will change the performance and give us the exact change that we needed.
written by Raoul Esseboom
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