If Web 1.0 was about reading, and Web 2.0 was about reading and writing, Web 3.0 is about reading, writing and owning.
It is a data economy ecosystem focused on the individual, in contrast to the corporate-focused platform economy of Web 2.0. See the craze over NFTs — NFTs are a technology that demonstrate ownership over data.
Digital identity must transform to keep up with this paradigm shift. Identity 1.0 — which appeared with the birth of the web — focused on websites. You registered for a website, which generated your ID. This has had several drawbacks, namely, you can’t move the IDs each site generates, there are privacy issues and it’s unclear how sites use your ID.
Since the emergence of Web 2.0 in the early and mid-2000s, there have been calls for a user-centric ID system in which users can gather all their IDs in one spot and use them as necessary.
However, “Identity 2.0” never emerged since platforms regard IDs as the most important asset in their data silos. Indeed, platforms have been using “social logins” to bolster the current system.
What Web 3.0 needs is an ID system akin to your real world wallet. Your wallet has credit cards, cash and other payment tools, as well as private assets and private ID data such as ID cards, entry cards, membership cards and family photos. Individuals choose which ones to submit when necessary. This is the kind of ID needed for Web 3.0, but in digital form.
This is where DID comes in. DID separates the issuer and the verifier (i.e., where the ID is used), and allows the ID owner to directly administer their data through their wallet. You can choose which ID data to submit to a verifier when needed.
When you show your government-issued (in Korea) ID card at the convenience store to buy beer or smokes, the shop simply verifies that the card is legit. Keeping issuer and verifier separate and leveraging highly trustworthy blockchain technology, DID works the same way.
To make using DID easier, ICONLOOP has created the MyID Platform, which lets you store and certify many kinds of personal data, including your real-name financial ID (needed in Korea) and COVID-19 vaccination status. The platform is also at work in the Zzeung wallet and Jeju Safety Code contact tracing app.