This session, moderated by Charles Walton, Senior VP & Digital Identity at Mastercard; brought together experts and practitioners from the SSI field. Before the active discussion started, all experts had a chance to present their work: Alastria (Spanish multinational consortium building public permission networks), ESSIF (pan-European self-sovereign identity framework within the European Blockchain Services Infrastructures), Orange (using blockchain for agriculture) and Validated ID (SSI-wallet called VIDchain).
The people’s notion of being able to take better control of their digital identity is the developing area, and we’re beginning to acknowledge the change in our society.
The experts pointed out the existing chicken-or-egg problem: there is no usage without stakeholders issuing credentials, users accepting those credentials and active users. Moreover, it was argued that SSI would be at the core of future decentralised finance.
A possible way to boost its massive adoption is by hiding its complexity behind a user-friendly front-end. Reaching the critical mass is only possible via profound cooperation between the sectors and establishing legal and regulatory frameworks. Experts foresee the most significant value of SSI coming to the cross-sector and cross-border services, especially in terms of using public credentials in the business context or vice versa.
Panel participants also raised issues of the financial viability of SSI projects since the end goal is to bring value to the citizens. Yet, it still has to be supported by good commercial models. Daniel Du Seuil, European Blockchain Partnership; argues for new business models since, amidst strong monopoly and centralisation, the old ones will not work.