An Introduction to Self-Sovereign Identity

A comprehensive introduction and analysis of the technology, standards, projects, players, and applications that use blockchain for digital identity.


Digital identity is an infrastructure necessary to do most everything on the Internet. However, today’s platform designs own the digital identities of the people on them, (Facebook owns the identity you use on it and any applications that use your Facebook log-in).

Centralized identity providers have had increasing security issues in recent years as central repositories are a delicious attack surface for hackers; the integrity of stored data is low, and users have little to no control of how their data is used.

The most popular single sign-on provider can revoke your identity if you do not follow their real-names ruleset. This removes access not just to the identity provider’s product, but to any product that users the 3rd party for identity.

Self-Sovereign Identity technologies give individuals the ability to control and manage their own digital identifiers. This technology is gaining momentum as it solves previously unsolvable challenges. With the emergence SSI open standards, a new layer of the internet emerges for the identity of people and organizations. SSI represents a new paradigm -- it changes the identity game completely.




You are looking to invest in the space and want a comprehensive, unbiased overview.


You are trying to understand the technology and how you can use it. You want to sell a pilot project to your management team.


You want to understand how this technology applies to your industry and existing product strategy.


You want to understand and explore new capabilities enabled by SSI technology. You want to learn about existing government funded projects and research.


You program digital identity conference tracks and need to know the critical topics and experts.


You want an comprehensive introduction to the standards, DID specs, wallets and agents. And you want to know where you can dig into the technical details.

Authored by industry insiders for outsider understanding

Kaliya Young

Kaliya Young holds a Master of Science in Identity Management and Security. She co-Founded the Internet Identity Workshop, and the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium. She facilitated ID2020 DesignShop, the Rebooting Web of Trust. She was elected in August 2012 to the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) Identity Ecosystem Steering Committee, Management Council as the Consumer Advocate delegate and served there for three years. In 2012 she was named a Young Global Leader in 2012 by the World Economic Forum (WEF). She is an Independent Advocate for the Rights and Dignity of our Digital Selves.

Heather Vescent

Heather Vescent owns and operates The Purple Tornado, a transmedia futures studio. Vescent has delivered transmedia research insights to governments and corporations in digital identity, military learning, payments and transactions. Clients include US & UK governments, SWIFT, Disney, IEEE, mid-size companies and start-ups. Her research has been covered in the New York Times, CNN, American Banker, CNBC, Fox, and the Atlantic. She is an author of the Cyber Attack Survival Manual, published by Weldon-Owen. Her work has won multiple awards from the Association of Professional Futurists.