The decentralized applications (dApps) are one of the most promising applications of blockchain technology, which has the potential to completely replace the centralized platforms managed by third parties. The management of user identity, however, remains essential for any dApp and is currently managed by "trusted" third parties: a problem that the ERC725 identity standard aims to solve.
The standard of identity ERC725 arises from an idea of Fabian Vogelsteller, the creator of the token standard ERC20 widely used in the blockchain ecosystem. Created on 2 October 2017, the ERC725 standard was adopted by numerous blockchain projects aimed at incorporating decentralized identity standards into peer-to-peer markets.
– Fabian Vogelsteller (@feindura) 19 April 2018
ERC725 could solve identity problem
Source The protocol, one of the most important projects to incorporate the ERC725 standard, highlights the advantages of a blockchain-based identity standard as a way to manage reputation and 39; user reliability in decentralized and peer-to-peer markets.
A dApp equivalent to Airbnb, for example, would require that users who rent properties identify themselves in order to prevent fraud or destruction of property. In the current blockchain ecosystem, such dApp would need to rely on a trusted management of third party identities or Oracle platforms, such as ChainLink, for hypothetical integration with third parties.
Reply to comments on GitHub, Vogelsteller underlined the need for a standardized identity management:
"At the moment all of them gather all the information about you separately to make sure they know who you are … A standard will help to the extent that everyone can automatically check certain statements and therefore it is not necessary to store the actual details about you, since, provided that they trust the issuer of the complaint, they do not need to have the actual information. current over-collection is due to the lack of a better system. "
How does ERC725 work?
The source protocol envisions an implementation of the ERC725 standard that would see users trying to verify their identity problem a new "identity contract" "that contains a valid complaint issued by the platform they are trying to verify on themselves.
The issuer would provide the user with a cryptographic signature which demonstrates that the user controls a particular e-mail, telephone number or, according to Vogelsteller, address or biometric data, which is added to the identity contract.
In the case of an equivalent of dApps Airbnb, a user would be able to attempt to rent a property through a listing contract, at which point the listing contract investigates the identity of the User for a complaint issued by the dApp "AirBnB." By retrieving the public key from the signature of the complaint, the listing contract could verify that it is still valid on the contract issued by the dApps, allowing the transaction to proceed.
The future of decentralized identity
The ERC725 could potentially create an ecosystem in which contracts are able to accept claims issued by virtually any dApp or blockchain platform, facilitating identity distributed and interoperable between all projects. If the US Postal Service distributes its claim issuer contract, for example, any contract that requires a verified user address could automatically look for USPS claims before allowing the interaction.
While the ERC725 standard is still at a relatively early stage of development, integration with projects such as Origin Protocol is already underway. With countries like Thailand already investigating the identity management based on the blockchain, a future in which all identity management occurs on the chain is not so far.
– Fabian Vogelsteller (@feindura) 19 April 2018
Cover photo by Ruben Gutierrez on Unsplash
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