Centralized Identity Providers (IdPs) provide convenient and trustworthy means for managing user identity through cloud-based secure storage. This storage model however requires users to trust IdPs and rely on them to secure their identity information. The Self-Sovereign Identity model provides a user-controlled alternative to digital identity using open and trustworthy distributed ledger-based storage. The privacy-enhanced verifiable credentials (VC) when used together with SSI enable secure authentication and credential validation schemes.


SSI providers and verifiable credential management services provide a decentralized alternative to digital identity. However, the client-server model of traditional networking used for credential delivery can introduce centralization and avenues for censorship. In this hackathon, we extended the Ascertify prototype to include the libp2p networking framework for credential delivery to further enhance the degree of decentralization and censorship-resistance in verifiable credential management services. Further, we utilized OrbitDB (IPFS-based Database) for storing application data, making Ascertify the first verifiable credential management service with end-to-end decentralized infrastructure.

What we built

Our key contribution is the Ascertify dashboard, a proof-of-concept dApp for verifiable credentials management with a decentralized credential delivery service. The Ascertify dashboard application is meant for higher educational universities to streamline new student onboarding, manage requests for academic credentials, and conveniently issue and deliver credentials to students' wallets.

How we built it

We developed the Ascertify dashboard application using the Express JS framework for server endpoint and OrbitDB (IPFS-based database) for storage. We used React Javascript and Bootstrap framework for developing the front end. Our DIDs and VCs conform to W3C standards. We used the libp2p framework for connecting students' client devices to the dashboard endpoint and for establishing a reliable communication channel between the two.

Challenges we ran into

We started developing the mobile wallet application using React Native for users to facilitate interaction with Algorand to perform identity and credential management operations. However, we learned that React Native does not have support for core Node.js modules (including crypto.js and js-algosdk). After the hackathon, we will be working on creating a wrapper around the js-algosdk core Node.js module and develop a functional cross-platform mobile wallet application.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud to design and prototype the first fully decentralized service for verifiable credentials management. We are also pleased with the amount of progress we made during this hackathon.

What we learned

We learned that it is indeed possible to implement a fully decentralized application using solely peer-to-peer technologies. Contrary to our initial beliefs, we learned that decentralized application development has gained popularity and there is strong interest from dApps community to enhance the degree of decentralization in applications.

What's next for Ascertify: DIDs on Algorand and VC management

Ascertify LLC provides a suite of services for managing DIDs and VCs. We will continue our journey towards prototyping and testing various components in Ascertify. Alpha versions of key components are expected to be complete in May 2022.

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