In the physical world, human beings prove that “I” is “I” through government-approved documents such as ID cards and passports; in the Web 2 medium, “identity” is derived into social media accounts. When logging into social media such as WeChat and Alipay, the account is the proof of identity, but the initiative of the data is still in the hands of the centralized Internet giants behind the software, and privacy leakage has promoted the awakening of self-sovereign consciousness. Decentralized Identity (DID) was born, which changed the existing identity certification system and returned digital identity ownership, control and management rights to users. The core of DID is to create the only “identity” proof on the chain; with the rise of diversified application scenarios such as DeFi, NFT and even DAO, DID has become the soul of building a decentralized society.
1. The kernel of DID
In the article “DID: Improvement of On-Chain Credit Business and DAO Identity”, we pointed out that the three characteristics of DID: low consensus cost, composability and native globalization are the main differences between it and the real social identity system , which is one of the elements that can bring about a qualitative change in Web 3. DID changes the traditional definition of “identity”. In the physical world, proving that “I” is “I” relies on official government documents. The government with a collective consensus endorses the credit and provides the authenticity and reliability of the identity certificate, and human beings can then derive a code of conduct applicable to the society. But in the world of the Internet, the definition of the individual has changed. As David Phelps points out in You Are What You Own, we can own our data online as individuals, and we can also be rewarded for sharing, collectivizing, and reorganizing it in new public social structures that we haven’t fully conceived yet.
In other words, “I” is the sum of my current behavior patterns, and human behavior patterns determine the identity of the individual. The Web 2 social platform is faulty, and the social data of each medium cannot communicate with each other; but Web 3 gives the answer. DID links the traceable behaviors on the chain, pointing to a unique identifier stored in the blockchain. Human preferences, property, experience, reputation, etc. enrich the identification, and can communicate with any DApp.
The article “Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul” describes an idea for a Web3.0 ecosystem, called “DeSoc”, a decentralized society. And the foundation of all this is around DID, because it can realize the proof of relationship on the chain and prove that “you” is the core of “you”, which is DID. The data on the chain is transparent. DID breaks the barriers of centralized servers. It is like a “plug-in”, which packages and integrates human behaviors in various scenarios for flow, and also gives more possibilities to the needs of upper-layer applications.
Broadly speaking, socialization is a collection of human behavioral activities. In modern society, all interactions between people can be considered as social, including financial services. But does DID in the current paradigm change social behavior in Web 3, and how does it build another paradigm of Web 3 social relationships? Next, we will take the project as an example to discuss these three issues: how to complete the data collection on the chain, what problems do we hope to solve, and what social modes or scenarios can be adapted?
2. DID as a “plug-in”
It is because of the “plug-in” feature of DID that the DID track project. In the projects introduced below, there are DApps located at the data layer, protocol layer, and application layer. It is very incorrect to simply define it as a DID project because of the composability of DID. Compared with the summary of DID ecology from a technical point of view, this article will start from the perspective of users, that is, how applications define and apply DID, and outline the adaptability and changeability of DID to social behaviors on the human chain. We simply divide the projects into two categories. One type relies on off-chain data for identity authentication, and then builds a social network on the chain, including reputation-based social systems; the other type focuses on aggregating on-chain behavior to Based on wallet services, “credentials” enrich individual identities, aiming to create an on-chain and off-chain circulation network through social behavior.
a. Relying on off-chain authentication
The core idea of BrightID is to verify the authenticity of users through social relationships, which solves the problem of account identity uniqueness. Users do not need to submit identification documents, but only need to complete the initial level of identification after participating in a multilingual verification party to obtain a verification badge. After establishing social connections with friends, such as adding friends, creating groups, etc., you can earn corresponding points and upgrade your authentication level.
The initial-level verification meeting setup is actually more like a simplified version of the off-chain KYC certification process. The offline identity verification behavior is compared with the personal offline entity and the identity document. BrightID does not collect personal data, that is, it omits the step of identification documents, and uses the face-to-face social behavior of humans as “initial identification documents” to generate trust, and then use social behaviors to improve the reliability of the identity. This type of model is highly dependent on the good interaction of social relationships, and cannot avoid malicious behavior that contains fraud. On the other hand, in the BrightID introduction, they argue that “people use all available information to identify someone’s ability (including identifying their face/looks). The ability of a human to identify others far exceeds the ability of artificial intelligence”, but Under the uncertainty of criticizing artificial intelligence and the possibility of doing evil, such a mechanism eventually returns to the digital identity environment that relies on big data as the underlying support.
Like BrightID, for example, Gitcoin Dao, which is linked to Github account registration, selects projects such as off-chain identification, and starts from the social relationship in the physical world to build a social relationship network on the chain. Bypassing physical identity files, it not only protects privacy but also improves the authenticity of identity uniqueness, and builds a reputation-based social system in trust.
b. On-chain identity authentication
As the name suggests, on-chain identity authentication completes digital identity verification by aggregating and identifying a series of behaviors on the chain. From the user’s point of view, the project logic can be roughly divided into two categories. One type of data collection work does not depend on the generation and birth of social relationships, and mainly captures the traces of individuals’ autonomous behavior; while the other type is similar to BrightID, which encourages users to gain attention/trust values through social interaction; and then guide users to participate in cooperation. Party’s marketing activities to obtain certifications such as NFT medals/tags. The composability of such projects makes them more composable, and the rich application patterns make them more concerned.
1) Capture of personal behavior
From the application point of view, the most widely applicable/user volume on-chain behavior authentication is financial transaction behavior. For users, this type of project has the characteristics of the lowest threshold and the most convenient utility. The objective data comes from the open and transparent wallet history captured on the chain, and the personal identity is linked to the financial behavior of the individual, such as transactions, NFTs The simplest information about holdings or other crypto assets.
The most typical on-chain trading tools are products like Metamask and Etherscan. Metamask wallet has a built-in inter-account transfer function, and Etherscan is used to query and track the status of on-chain transaction orders. The two are not mutually exclusive, and a smooth business process has been successfully built. The wallet address collects user behavior and represents a “digital identity”. The transaction behavior completed through this address completes the construction of personal data, such as the official account of the project, giant whales, scientists, etc. But most of the current Web 3 transactions cannot be done through a single wallet. Cross-chain and cross-wallet behaviors lead to the fragmented nature of wallets. Although on-chain data tracking can complete the query of the relationship network, it cannot fundamentally solve it.
On the other hand, domain names, reputation systems such as ENS, DAS, etc., play a similar role as wallets.ENS is a decentralized phone book that converts readable domain names into on-chain resources and user identity tags. In simple terms, an .eth URL can be regarded as an identity, and users can use it to complete a series of on-chain social behaviors, such as inputting domain name transfers, transactions in Opensea, etc. In the decentralized account system .bit (DAS) on Nervos, the suffix of .bit is a globally unique domain name, and users can use any public chain address and email to register. .bit also announced its A round of $13 million in financing on August 15; and said that more than 38,000 independent addresses have registered more than 110,000 .bit accounts, and about 100 wallets and DApps have completed integration with .bit .
2) On-chain social square
The capture of personal on-chain behavior satisfies the need for transparent sharing of on-chain identities.Wallet addresses can be shared between DApps. Users can conduct token transactions on Uniswap to complete financial social interactions; they can link Metamask to register accounts in Mirror to complete basic social account registration. However, users cannot use it to perform higher-level and simple social service behaviors, such as chatting, reputation score, personal achievement display, etc.
On-chain social plaza projects quantify on-chain behavior and become a visualization platform for individual behavior. In a nutshell, their core logic is to first associate the identity with the wallet, eliminating the need for off-chain identity authentication steps. Then, after guiding users to complete specific tasks, certificates such as NFTs are issued to complete the construction of social graphs for users. Every behavior on the user chain, such as user voting on project governance proposals, cross-chain transfers completed in Hop, an article published on Mirror, etc., can be considered a “credential”. “Credentials” are an extension of the definition of “identity” and attach a series of labels to individual behaviors.
in Project Galaxy. After the user associates the wallet address, the “Galaxy ID” will be obtained as the initial identification. Afterwards, users can participate in partner activities on the Project Galaxy space station and receive voucher rewards “Galaxy Credentials”, such as NFTs. In addition, users can also choose to bind with the account of the Web 2 social platform Twitter. This is a richer resume display interface for users who have influence in Web 2 or who have historical data in the past.
Project Galaxy currently supports six chains: Ethereum, BNB, Polygon, Arbitrum, Fantom, Avalanche, and Solana. In addition to retrieving partners and other transparent data on the chain, Project Galaxy can easily retrieve public data off-chain from Twitter, Github, etc. Project Galaxy is like a space station that visualizes on-chain and off-chain behavioral credentials scattered on the chain. For users, Galaxy ID will collect and display the Galaxy Credentials of the user’s multi-chain “credentials” in Web 3; from a more ideal perspective, the user’s credentials are tools to shape an individual’s image. Individuals appear in the chain with a fuller image. superior. The user data collected by Project Galaxy is a more mature user portrait system for the project party to optimize its product-related marketing activities. However, the “certificate” expects a complete cooperation network of the project party, and also depends on the sense of identity and trust in the project party’s project.
Although DID solves the information gap of Web2 centralization, it still faces some pain points:
1) Information islands on the chain
The goal of DID is to achieve a unified identity on and off the chain. But on the one hand, there is a natural gap between on-chain and off-chain identities; in other words, how on-chain identities project off-chain behaviors is also one of the problems that needs to be solved. On the other hand, the fragmentation of the public chain makes the acquisition of information on the chain do not have a global view, and the “unique” identity built on each chain or each application is still disconnected from a macro perspective. On the other hand, Ethereum has an absolute advantage in terms of capital and user volume, which makes a large number of applications converge on Ethereum, and users’ behaviors on other chains are difficult to be integrated and labeled, based on other chains. The built identity aggregation application is difficult to be used by users.
Take the aggregate management protocol UniPass as an example. Through the key management mechanism, it is the user’s only passport to enter the Metaverse. The user’s Unipass ID can connect to their own social platforms in Web2 and Web3, including multi-chain addresses, emails, and Twitter. Its vision is beautiful, but UniPass, which uses Nervos as the underlying layer, is still out of the circle, and its popularity, user usage and acceptance are not very high.
2) Choice of Privacy and Transparency
One of the main reasons why Web 2 identity has been criticized is its centralization and privacy-free security.But can Web 3 identities really solve this problem completely? At present, it seems impossible. On one side of the scale, the ownership and management of Web 3 identities rests with users, but on the other side, all data is transparent, open, and traceable. To a certain extent, it is difficult for users to “hide” their behavior paths, unless they choose to completely disappear from the Internet. And these behavioral paths will eventually be quantified into “certificates” one by one, and “certificates” have become indicators of quantifying individual value, which seems to be another kind of exploitation of individual consciousness.
3) The value incentive of “identity”
At present, the user’s on-chain identity and account can be a wallet, but the wallet itself is only a financial tool, and the user’s transaction behavior does not generate intrinsic value. But in the real world, most human behaviors are aimed at obtaining incentives, which can be monetary rewards, recognition, or satisfaction.However, the current project’s solution to DID is to quantify user behavior and give “credentials” as recognition. But only with sufficient community consensus can the “credential” have the value of being recognized; otherwise, the “identity” given to the “credential” is just a demonstration of the user’s on-chain behavior. Project parties can obtain a large number of transparent user portraits and accurately locate their customer base. The value incentive of user behavior depends on the recognition of the “certificate” itself. For example, the “credentials” that users get from high-traffic projects on high-consensus public chains are much more valuable than the “credentials” obtained from low-traffic projects on low-consensus public chains. In other words, the project party’s goal of motivating users is the high utility value incentive of “identity”. In the current state of multi-chain fragmentation, some on-chain behaviors may not be able to be collected as “credentials”, and “identity” is more likely to be just another face of the wallet logo.
In summary, DID draws a broader application and narrative space for on-chain behavioral scenarios. From the user’s point of view, it provides a simpler and faster application mode, such as no need to display your past history and achievements on various platforms. With the accumulation of data and reputation on our chain, DID identity begins to have rights and value, it converts non-financial behavior into “credibility”, and quantifies financial behavior into “credit” value. As we mentioned in the article “DID: Improvement of On-Chain Credit Business and DAO Identity”, DID marks the user’s digital financial identity and improves various business processes of on-chain credit business through credit scoring system and basic information improvement. It meets the financial needs under the DAO identity. In addition, the natural borderless attribute of DID theoretically satisfies the transfer of cross-border credit value, and the visualization of on-chain behavior broadens identities with higher consensus, such as on-chain recruitment, on-chain salary distribution, etc. DID is an enabler on the way forward for a decentralized society and an integral part of the way forward for Web 3. However, it is the underlying framework for broadening the definition and direction of “identity”, and the decisive indicator of DID’s value still lies in how the upper-layer application side uses DID technology to solve the fundamental needs of human beings.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/did-how-to-refactor-the-web3-social-schema/
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