Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is a model that gives individuals full ownership and control of their digital identities without relying on a third party. In contrast to centralized identity management, you are the boss of your identity and get to decide who gets to see your data. You can also remove access to your data any time.
Before diving into the details of Self-Sovereign Identity, it’s important to know what digital identity is first. A digital identity is any data that exists online that can be traced back to an individual or organization. Identifiable data includes passwords, user names, bank accounts, and social media photos.
SSI technology allows people to self-manage their digital identities without depending on third-party providers to store and manage the data. Currently, Self-Sovereign Identity is used interchangeably with the term decentralized identity.
There are three main participants in the SSI system:
- Holder: Someone who creates their decentralized identifier with a digital wallet app and receives Verifiable Credentials.
- Issuer: Party with the authority to issue Verifiable Credentials.
- Verifier: Party checking the credential.