ACE : Building Localized Self-Sovereign Identity Ecosystems

Canada's pioneering work in the field of Blockchain Digital Identity is a keystone foundation for becoming the world's leading digital nation.

The core principle of building an Identity Ecosystem is the collaborative integration of multiple organizations.

What is particularly notable about this effect is that they are being developed at multiple levels – For example Sovrin is building a global network for regulating the exchange of Self Sovereign Identity-based data, and then also at the national level organizations like DIACC are developing a Canadian policy framework and system.

Furthermore there are even regional initiatives, SSI pioneers are also developing localized ecosystem collaborations.

In Alberta the state owned bank ATB Financial is building ‘ACE’, the Alberta Credential Ecosystem, a local collaboration of organizations beginning to adopt SSI and achieve integrated services through sharing SSI credentials, an initiative led by Mike Brown.

Building a Local Identity Ecosystem

What this highlights is that both global and local collaboration is key.

Where global ecosystems like Sovrin enable the core inter-operation, there is still a need for localized collaborations to operationalize these capabilities, even in the simple terms of building partner relationships through meet ups and workshops. From these comes the realization of how and where to apply the technology to best deliver mutually beneficial business results.

Presenting to the SSI Meetup community, Mike explains the journey thus far for developing ACE.

The principle objective has been to form a collaboration network of local organizations, what Mike defines as a ‘multi-sided marketplace’, including universities, utilities, telcos, local and city government, to identify where they have intersecting business processes that would be well served through an SSI-integrated workflow.

Having modeled these scenarios they have then developed Proof of Concept prototypes. For example working with Telus, the local telco, they linked a banking credential to enable a new account opening process. With IBM and Workday they linked the other way, connecting a new employee onboarding process to payroll banking set up.

Future work includes an in-depth review of digital wallet options and the role they will play in enabling user-centric services for citizens, in particular how best to address the critical issue of key management.

Presenting at the Hyperledger Global Forum Mike shared this lightning talk that showed these developments within an overall context for the bank, with SSI being one of five main focus areas, the others being inter-banking operations, enterprise solutions, cryptocurrencies and payment solutions.

The key dynamic of ‘Self-Sovereign Identity’ is that it is decentralized versus centralized, achieved through ‘DID’ open standards. Rather than a single, central database of Identity information users themselves hold, manage and present their own digital credentials, via digital wallets such as Evernym’s

This mirrors the physical world, where users carry their credential documents like their drivers licence in their wallet.

Furthermore programs like Alberta’s then localize this collaboration, providing a community vehicle for participants to zero in on the specific use cases they want to digitally enable through SSI, such as how local Telecomms, Government, Healthcare and Insurance organizations might interoperate to facilitate shared business processes.

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