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  • Writer's pictureEvîn Cheikosman

Tuesday Project Spotlight: Self-Sovereign Identity & the Decentralized, Consent-Based Model 

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

The Partnership

In May 2022, the Blockchain Law for Social Good Center and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) partnered to research the impacts of self-sovereign identity and a decentralized, consent-based model for the future of digital identities.

The Purpose

The research article, published in October 2022, highlights the benefits and constraints faced by government agencies in their application of decentralized technologies. The article also underscored the importance of the decentralized model, offering use cases from nations and U.S. states researching the most efficient path towards a fully decentralized and user-owed digital identity. 

The Path to Progress

Under existing models, the mode of governance and control has been fully centralized. As daily life moves into increasingly digital spaces, people will need a more secure and accurate method of identifying and conducting business as themselves online. The blockchain-based decentralized model is one such method, demonstrating a resistance to conventional attacks on user data while increasing transparency for all. 

California has historically led the world in the discovery and application of new and exciting technologies. The application of blockchain-based security systems should be no different. Now is the time for the DMV to evaluate the value of a decentralized but still privately controlled digital self-sovereign identity system. The results of pilot programs from Estonia to Wyoming conclusively illustrate that self-sovereign identity-based systems, when coupled with decentralized systems of control, are superior to older and increasingly antiquated centralized models.

With blockchain technology, information about a digital identity is auditable, traceable, and verifiable in just seconds. These benefits already exist across Europe and in at least seven states where individuals can curate their own profiles and control data sharing. With this technology, federal and state governments can easily connect with others inside and outside of their jurisdictions and provide nearly instant verification of identity credentials. The simplicity of the self-sovereign identity model makes clear that California must flex its digital power and begin the integration of digital identities for all.

To read the research article, click here.

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