Decentralized Identity is essential.

But by itself it overlooks something that’s also essential.

Banks and ecommerce sites aren’t the only relying parties...

You and I… we all rely on the identity claims of people we encounter online

As identity professionals, we must pay more attention to the needs of relying parties.

Watch Richard Parry explain

Richard is right of course. But banks aren’t the only relying parties that need identity reliability. Have you ever received a Facebook Messenger message from a “friend” who turned out to be a fake version of your real friend – an impostor?

Have you ever been fooled, or almost fooled, by a phishing message?

The other side of identity – decentralized or otherwise – is the reliability of the identity claims of other people – not just one’s own identity.

Anyone can purchase 80 phones and create 80 new people, each of whom will have valid biometrics. With not much skill on the part of the perpetrator, all 80 will pass standard ID verification procedures.

While we protect our own autonomy and privacy and individuality with our own decentralized identifiers, we all need to add reliability to our identity claims for the sake of the commons.

PGP set out to do that, but PGP proved to be eminently corruptible. All collegial certification is easily subverted, especially when money or power is involved.

The world’s information infrastructure needs decentralized identifiers that carry with them a measure of their own reliability.

That points to a need for governance.

Not government. Governance.

The W3C Verifiable Credentials Working Group produces valuable specifications. But do specifications constitute governance?

As Lawrence Lundy-Bryan noted while he was with Outlier Ventures,

“There is no such thing as decentralized governance.”

So the trick is to put authority behind our identity claims, without succumbing to the demands of power hungry centralization advocates. There needs to be an openly governed, participatorily governed, source of authority that attests to the validity of identity claims.


Oh, you know what I mean. Governed in a way that allows any properly identified person to participate in the governance. OK? Better?


We’re pleased to introduce two protocols that will solve the problem.

Introducing the Internet Of People Protocol:

Introducing the OCSP+Plus Protocol:

You and I… we all rely on the identity claims of people we encounter online.