What Does a Sustainable SSI Business Look Like? The Business of Self-Sovereign ID

From IIW

The Business of Self-Sovereign ID: What Does A Sustainable SSI Business Look Like?

Tuesday 2C

Convener(s): Riley Hughes (StreetCred), Joachim Lohkamp (Jolocom), Ricardo J. Méndez, (Samsung NEXT)

Notes-taker(s): Ricardo Méndez

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered:

 trust, business models, sustainability

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:


  • Timothy Ruff, Evernum
    • It's about the internet stack. Do we have applications?
    • Money is made at the application layer
    • Fat protocols is a failed model
    • Store-of-value does not enable interactions
  • Attendee distribution: about 15% are on a SSI provider, 15% on something that expects to consume it.
  • Valuable when...
    • Verifying assertions is costly or important
    • Credentials are valuable in other contexts. Example: military IDs being useful for both base access or discounts... but what's the product? Cost reduction?
  • Audience check on skepticism vs. belief...
    • Timothy: who's a skeptic of SSI? Who's a believer?
    • Ricardo: I believe on the benefits for individuals, but I'm skeptical on the likelihood for mass adoption.
    • (General audience agrement)
  • Audience check...
    • Who would like to be able to manage their identity in a self-sovereign manner? (90% of hands go up)
    • What sort of service would you be willing to pay for? (Crickets, mostly)
  • Examples of SSI business models people would pay for
    • Something that pings you when someone tries to use your money
    • Password managers as a tangentially-related business
  • "To create or find the value you have to go very deep into existing business models"
  • CU Ledger "is priming the pump" by getting credit unions to issue credentials to their customers
  • Scott Perry: "It's the trusted identity that businesses are willing to pay for. It doesn't matter if it's self-sovereign or not, it's the trust that matters."
  • Most business-focused solutions that the discussion converges to can be summarized as "liability reduction".
  • CU Ledger example: who makes money?
    • CU Ledger makes money charging to verify credentials
    • Primitive service providing ledger
    • Middleware provider for the credential management system

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