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Tech Announcements|12 MIN. READ

Elastos DID: What’s Ahead for 2021

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A rising innovation, Decentralized Identification (DID) solutions are rapidly emerging as one of the digital asset space’s most powerful and promising technologies. Within the Elastos ecosystem, DID has been an integral component of Elastos’ core tech stack since its conception, and its path toward adoption remains at the forefront of Elastos’ development efforts. Over the last year, the Trinity Tech and Gelaxy teams were hard at work collaborating for the joint release of the Elastos DID 1.0 SDK and W3C-compliant DID Sidechain. Their 2020 accomplishments are not to be overlooked:

  • Completion and release of Elastos DID method 1.0 specification and other related specifications with full W3C compliance.
  • Completion of DID Sidechain development inclusive of all relevant specifications. 
  • Public launch of DID Sidechain with support for full 1.0 specifications.
  • Provision of DID SDKs in a number of languages:
    • Java SDK (for Android and any Java platform)
    • Swift SDK (for iOS and MacOS)
    • Native C SDK (for Desktop for any Portable Operating System Interface [POSIX], including embedded systems)
    • Python SDK

Since its launch, Elastos’ DID solution has been adopted in Elastos Essentials, as well as CR, Feeds, Hyper, and other applications as well. In addition, Tuum Tech is working on an Elastos DID-based application called Profile, a rising competitor to LinkedIn – in large part by leveraging Elastos DIDs. Unlike in conventional applications where data and identities are managed and controlled by centralized systems, users will retain full ownership of their data when using Profile.

With further implementations and adoption opportunities for Elastos DID on the horizon, the Trinity Tech team has also constructed a unified DID authentication model that plays a key role in the standardization and promotion of DIDs in traditional applications and identity authentication processes between clients and servers. Separate applications developed by different developers can utilize unified identity management and consistent identity authentication processes in which user-centric identity management replaces the existing application-centric model. Such unified DID processes stand to be some of the most robust and adoption-ready features offered by Elastos Essentials.

After successfully completing and releasing DID 1.0, the Trinity Tech team received an abundance of valuable requests and feedback from community developers and users. Trinity Tech’s engineers took into account all such requests and feedback in  formulating the subsequent 2021 DID Development Overview. In the overview, the team lays out a new framework for DID 2.0, complete with a detailed implementation and adoption strategy aimed at integrating Elastos DID 2.0 into as many new applications as possible.

DID 2.0: 2021 Development Overview

DID 2.0’s primary objectives are to provide a superior developer and user experience, and to support more complex business models and use case scenarios enabling the expansion of DID’s implementation and adoption potential. To achieve these goals, the Trinity Tech team will be augmenting new features and making a series of important modifications: 

  • Support for Customized DID Identifiers: Customized DID Identifiers are abbreviated character strings that are meaningful and easy to remember, such as names. In comparison to the current hash-based Base58 Identifier, a customization feature makes for a vastly more user-friendly DID experience. 
  • Support for Multi-Party DIDs: Multi-party DID ownership and multi-signature DID document management will be supported as well, which opens up a number of critical use case scenarios for enterprises. In addition, DID 2.0 will enable multiple DID entities to jointly hold a specific DID. In this model, all parties can set up a recognized multisignature parameter by which to jointly control ownership of the DID. For example, three parties may jointly hold one DID, and may set a multi-signature parameter that requires at least two signatures to modify or change the DID.
  • Support for DID Transfer (for Customized DID Identifiers only): Via this mechanism, DIDs can be transferred and thereby act as stores of value.
  • Support for Independent Release of Verifiable Credentials on the DID Sidechain: From the standpoint of user privacy, credentials are to be held by users. However, once published to the blockchain, credentials become public information available to the entire world. In order to allow users to share information selectively and privately with particular institutions and in enterprise-specific use case scenarios, an independent release feature enables users to maintain their privacy when engaging with platforms that require DID-based verifiable credentials.
  • Support for Search and Analytics Functions for Public Credentials. Analytics services and credential search services are provided for credentials issued on-chain by specific DIDs.
  • DID Sidechain Consensus Modification: At present, the DID Sidechain uses a hybrid consensus mechanism (AuxPoW + DPoS). Due to the restrictions AuxPoW imposes on the DID Sidchain’s block time, the chain’s consensus will transition to a full DPoS consensus mechanism in order to shorten the block time from 10 minutes down to 5 seconds, thereby vastly improving performance.
  • Accelerated DID Transactions: As of now, the average block time on the Elastos DID Sidechain is 2 minutes. In general,  DID transactions need to be confirmed and signed over the course of three blocks, which is to say that the time interval required to issue a DID on-chain is 6 minutes – and often slightly longer pending other variables. The DID Sidechain’s consensus modification will accelerate DID transactions significantly, contributing to a superior user experience and better preparing Elastos DID for real-world use case scenarios.
  • Dynamic and Flexible DID Transaction Fees: For DID 2.0, the DID Sidechain will utilize dynamic and flexible rules for calculating DID transaction fees – especially in regards to customized identifiers. Each DID transaction fee will be determined by a number of contributing factors such as the length of a custom DID Identifier, its term of validity, the file size of any involved documents, the number of controllers and/or relevant multi-signature parties, and more. Once the new rules for DID transaction fee calculations are implemented, there will be no significant modifications to fees for ordinary DID transactions. However, there will be a substantial increase in transaction fees for customized DID Identifiers and large DID document files. In addition to providing a logical and fair method for calculating DID transaction fees, DID’s new economic model will also generate a new income source for DPoS nodes to supplement block rewards.

 DID 2.0 Development: Governance Considerations

In order to ensure a successful launch and smooth ongoing operation of DID 2.0, three basic proposals will be submitted for the DID Sidechain, all of which have been designed in alignment with Cyber Republic’s governance model:

  • 1) Proposal for a List of Reserved DID Identifiers: At DID 2.0’s launch, customized DID identifier registration functions will be fully live. In order to support and protect prominent enterprises and the reputation of Elastos’ DID ecosystem, a proposal will be  submitted prior to launch containing a list of reserved DIDs for organizations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Tentcent, Alibaba, and others. Once this proposal is approved via Cyber Republic Consensus (CRC), the reserved DIDs will be published on-chain. As per the voting outcome of CRC, the reserved DIDs will be excluded from registration on the DID Sidechain.
  • 2) Proposal to Claim a Reserved DID: If an appropriate organization wishes to register a DID that is included in the list of reserved DIDs, it must submit a proposal to Cyber Republic to apply for the registration. The proposal must provide a declaration for the ownership of the specific DID. Once the proposal is approved via CRC, the organization and/or its representatives may register the designated reserved DID on the DID Sidechain and begin using it with full functionality.
  • 3) Proposal to Modify the Transaction Fee Model on the DID Sidechain: The price of ELA varies and will continue to vary based on free market dynamics, and will therefore be subject to unlimited volatility. Consequently, DID transaction fees may deviate to a prohibitive price range at any time. In order to prevent an unexpected exodus of established users or the formation of barriers to new entrants, a proposal to modify the DID transaction fee calculation model will play a critical role in ensuring that DID transaction fees remain in a reasonable range during unexpected bouts of extreme market volatility. After a Transaction Fee Model Modification Proposal is passed via CRC, DID transaction fee calculations will automatically transition in adherence to the new consensus achieved via CRC. 

Although the above proposals fall under the scope and jurisdiction of Cyber Republic and are carried out via main chain consensus, their primary function is to provide an efficient and healthy governance foundation for the DID Sidechain as it develops a robust ecosystem of users, organizations, and applications of its own in the months and years ahead. 

Development Roadmap

Main Chain

  • All 3 DID Sidechain Proposals will be updated in May 2021.

1) DID Sidechain

  • DID 1.0 operating on the DPoS-based DID Sidechain will be launched on testnet by end-March 2021.
  • DID 1.0 operating on the DPoS-based DID Sidechain will be launched on mainnet by end-April 2021. Corresponding to this launch, all data on the pre-existing DID Sidechain will be migrated to the new DID Sidechain.
  • DID 2.0 will be launched on testnet by end-June 2021.
  • DID 2.0 will be launched on mainnet in Q3 2021.

2) DID SDK

  • Swift/Java/Native SDK 2.0 will be officially released in June 2021.
  • Python/JavaScript SDK 2.0 will be released in Q3 2021.

3) DID Wallet

  • Ultimately, Elastos Essentials will serve as the primary application for DID management. While Trinity Tech is currently focusing its attention and developer resources on core features, the team will release more information pertaining to Elastos Essentials DID management in the months ahead as core features mature and a cohesive application emerges.

Developer Support

In addition to the above-mentioned new features, infrastructural modifications, and DID SDKs, the following application services and components will be provided to support developers:

  • Tuum Tech and Trinity Tech will provide DID-based KYC web services: The centralized identity systems used by most existing web companies, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, WeChat ID, Alipay ID, and others, require platform-specific KYC procedures. With reference to these existing web services, Tuum and Trinity will provide basic DID services through KYC in which users control their DIDs. In adherence to the regional regulations governing KYC procedures, Tuum Tech will focus on KYC services for organizations and users based in the west, and Trinity Tech will focus on KYC services for organizations and users based in China.
  • Seamless DID Publishing Service and API: DID innately requires ELA for transaction fees. In order to support a seamless new-user onboarding process, Tuum and Trinity will also provide DID publishing services and APIs so as to allow traditional web applications and users to begin using DID with ease.
  • DID Adoption in Elastos Essentials: As the flagship home of the Elastos ecosystem, Elastos Essentials will provide users a series of identity management functions for login, authentication, and DID management. These functions compose and enable the freedoms DID confers to users. With DID management functions at their fingertips, users will truly own their identities in a fully decentralized manner.
  • A One-Stop, Easy-to-Use DID Integration Solution for both Mobile and Web Applications: Much like Google’s integrated sign-in functions that are available across a wide array of web platforms, DID will be easy and convenient for developers to integrate into their websites and applications.

To keep up with both Trinity Tech and Tuum Tech as they build out the newest version of Elastos DID and begin releasing updates and new features on the Elastos testnet and mainnet alike, stay tuned here at the official Elastos Info Blog. Elastos DID 2.0 is in the works and on the way, and implementation and adoption have never been closer.

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