A digital identity worthy of Web3 is portable instead of app specific, controlled by the user instead of a corporation, and lives on the blockchain instead of a private database. That is what Polygon ID promises to do for the next iteration of the Internet.
But what does all this mean for the daily lives of people? Below are some ways in which Polygon ID will have meaningful impact in the real world:
Identity & global development
The ability to prove who you are is a fundamental and universal human right and one that citizens in developed countries take for granted. But more than 1 billion people worldwide lack the means to prove their identities, restricting their access to legal protections, basic social and financial services. The problem is likely to be made worse by climate-driven dislocations.
The United Nations proposed digital identity as the solution and set the goal to provide legal identity for all including free birth registrations by 2030. The U.N. specifically highlighted the promise of new technologies such as blockchain to create digital identity that is private, portable, persistent and personal.
Polygon ID offers advanced privacy that can still run on a user’s device while offering protection from tracking, targeting, and surveillance. It lives on blockchain, which makes it as borderless as the Internet itself. Polygon ID is also a complete platform that can be used to construct a variety of identity and trust services, be it birth certificates, drivers licenses or resident permits.
Self-sovereign identity for Web3
Web3's self-reliance spirit can be summed up in this often used refrain: not your keys, not your coins. Much of the same goes for your identity online. Web2 companies use login credentials to regulate access and monopolize user data. Blockchain technology empowers people with personal data ownership.
Owning your identity makes it portable, meaning you can take it with you from one multiverse, dApp or Web3 game to another. It also puts users in control of how their personal data is used, if at all. If they want to make it available for commercial purposes, they can share in the proceeds.
Polygon ID is private by default and fully aligned with Web3 privacy ethos. That means access control is based on proving verifiable information rather than sharing it with the verifier. Users can access apps while remaining anonymous.
Read more: Introducing Polygon ID, Zero-Knowledge Identity for Web3
Social coordination & decentralized decision-making
In 2006, Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig wrote that the very architecture of cyberspace gives it an extraordinary amount of control over its users, warning that the greatest threat to liberty was not state power, religion or market forces but software running on the Internet. Two years later, the Bitcoin whitepaper was published, unleashing a flood of experiments in direct democracy powered by code.
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) offer new ways to organize people without central control and in a way that gives workers, users, and other stakeholders complete ownership. In their short history, DAOs have already tackled investing, product development, socializing and one even raised $40 million to bid on a physical copy of the U.S. constitution.
Polygon ID has applications for different models of decentralized governance, including sybil-resistant liquid democracies, quadratic voting schemas, and reputation-based governance that encompasses decentralized sybil resistance scoring, improved representation, and domain-expertise reputation. The technology can also be used to power private and censorship-resistant P2P communication and interactions.
Something we’ve never seen before
Good science fiction should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam, according to writer Frederik Pohl. But even great sci-fi could not predict the suburbs. That’s why the wildest and most impactful applications of Web3 identity are likely to be among the secondary and tertiary effects of this technology.
Would a digital nation-state with decentralized governance and an eConstitution be possible? Could it have its own sovereign monetary system and treasury management? Can we create a reputation system for the Internet of Jobs? What are the implications for freedom of expression and people-powered networks? Only time will tell.
Polygon ID Roadmap
Polygon ID is currently under development. The solution will be structured as a set of tools, platform services and examples for developers to learn, test and integrate with their apps or dApps leveraging Polygon ID’s unique on-chain capabilities.
The product portfolio (focus on simplicity and inclusiveness) is the following:
- Polygon ID Wallet app - a set of open source user and developer kits to integrate or whitelabel for custom applications.
- Polygon ID Platform - an open, public platform developers and organizations can use to define and manage the trust lifecycle of their applications and other requirements, such as ZKPs, sources of trust, etc.
- Polygon ID Connect - public service platform to integrate access across user wallets and applications.
Expected delivery plan:
- Q1 2022 - PoC for Polygon DAO.
- Q2 2022 - Public release of ID Wallet app and SDK to support essential features, like Claims Issuance, Private Authentication, zkProof Generation and Verification.
- Q3 2022 - Full release of ID Platform and SDKs for developers to implement custom use cases, including the zkQuery Language, P2P Communication Protocol and Relayer Service.
If this sounds like something your project would be interested in, please reach out here to share your integration needs. Keep up with the latest development on our website.
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