Standards and technologies such as SAML, OAuth, and OpenID Connect have enabled services to provide a higher UX for the identity infrastructure on the Web, and have enabled User-Centric systems where users can handle only the data they have authorized.
As a result, however, we now need an Identity Provider (IdP), a big tech company like Google or Facebook, to handle our identity. This poses a big problem. For example, if a fire breaks out in the data center of an IdP or a major system failure occurs, our identities will be lost, we will not be able to log in to services that we were able to log in to before, and we will not be able to access important information that we have stored.
Because of these problems, the concept of Self-Sovereign Identity has been fundamental in the field of Identity since the early days of the industry. This is the idea that identity, which is information that represents a user, should be owned by the user himself/herself without relying on a third party, and that the user should be able to edit and share the information.
In recent years, with the development of blockchain technology and the Snowden’s scandal, the idea that our identities should be self-sovereign has become even more prevalent.
DID (Decentralized Identifier) is a solution that brings our identity one step closer to Self-Sovereign. DIDs allow us to create our own IDs and update or delete them under our own control, whereas before we could only create IDs through IdP.
DID is not constrained to use distributed ledger technology such as blockchain, but it is compatible with such technology, and various DID methods have been proposed and implemented, such as creating a DID from an individual's wallet.
Now, can DID make our identity Self-Sovereign? The answer is somewhere between Yes and No. Certainly, identity may come to be under our own control. However, DIDs alone will not allow us to own the information that makes up an individual, such as age, region of residence, driver's license, passport, website browsing history, purchase history, and so on. The blockchain is not suitable for storing large amounts of information because it has very strict storage capacity limitations.
The Ceramic Network is a distributed data storage network built on IPFS. Normally, IPFS does not allow modification or deletion of stored data, but the Ceramic Network system makes it possible to edit such data. Another unique feature of the Ceramic Network is that the storage is tied to an individual's DID, which allows users of the Ceramic Network to access their data using their DID.
Yes, by using the Ceramic Network, a mechanism will be constructed to decentralize and manage the vast amount of personal data tied to the DID, which is lacking from the DID alone. We believe that the Ceramic Network will be an important factor to realize a truly Self-Sovereign Identity.
Everyone has written his or her own CV at least once. Whether it is for a part-time job interview or a job offer, we write a CV so that we can appeal our performance maximum while appropriately recalling our background for various situations.
However, this may not be the information that the company or organization interviewing you is really looking for, and the person writing the resume may not be able to recall all of his/her background and skills, nor can he/she write them all down due to paper space limitations.
Even if a CV writer can perfectly understand the information a company is looking for, can recall his/her entire background, and can write it all down on an endless sheet of paper, the next problem is the endless reference checks. Companies that want to hire people spend enormous amounts of money each year trying to determine whether that CV is true or not.
VESS solves these problems and provides a new form of CV. VESS allows the user's on-chain transactions to be used as the basis for storing the type of work that was undertaken online and the deliverables tied to the individual's DID. By using a transaction-based system, it is impossible to falsify the fact that a job has been accepted or ordered, and by capturing the details of the job and the signature of the deliverables, it is also impossible to falsify the contents of the job, eliminating the need for companies and other employers to take reference checks.
Of course, individuals can enter their own works in VESS by themselves, or a company or DAO can issue achievements to a job receivers. In addition, with the VESS API/SDK, it is also possible to create a system that automatically issues achievements when a job is ordered or received on the job marketplaces or platforms.
The work credentials created with VESS can be shared with any services or platforms through the Ceramic Network's SDK. For example, a work credential created on one crowdsourcing site can be carried over to another crowdsourcing site, and can be easily shared with others on Twitter or Discord.
Another important feature of the VESS system is that each "work" is issued as a VOXEL, a 3D cube that visualizes the CV. This system is expected to make new effects not seen in conventional CVs, such as making it possible to refer to personal histories more intuitively and allowing users to visualize their own work histories and get a bird's-eye view of them.
VESS will bring greater flexibility, portability, and self-sovereignty to personal work identities, allowing individuals to find new utility and convenience in their work history.