On Thursday, 18th June 2020, we had our 9th meeting of the Expert Group “Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management”. The virtual meeting was dedicated to the concept and the application of ‘Self-Sovereign Identities’ in the digital area.
In the first part of the meeting, Martin Fabini, CTO from ti&m provided us with a short overview about the current concepts, developments and applied use cases in regard to SSIs. He explained how we have already moved from ‘centralized identities’ to ‘federated identities’ in our daily use of digital applications. However, he pointed out that we will need to develop a more user centric approach of a fully ‘self-sovereign identitiy’ (SSI) to get full control over our digital identities. The SSI building blocks – and their technological solutions – are currently a hot topic discussed in different consortia and foundations. A crucial part of all the SSI concept is a ‘decentralized identifier’ (DID) based on a decentralized trusted infrastructure provided by distributed ledger technologies (‘blockchain’).
In the second part of the meeting we discussed, in virtual breakout rooms, the possible business cases as well as the legal, technological, and business issues with SSI. In the discussion, we saw that there are many potential use cases and that some group members have already worked on some concrete pilots. However, the development of globally accepted standards is needed in order to overcome current legal and technological issues and to fully develop interoperable SSI concepts. Only a common SSI solution stack with compatible protocols will unlock the enormous business potential of SSIs.
Unfortunately, this time the meeting was concluded without our usual apéro due to obvious reasons. For our next meeting, planned in September, we hope that we can catch up again with this tradition and meet each other personally for an after-meeting networking apéro to exchange further ideas and contacts.