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The basics

What do we mean by Identity?

An identity can be a person, a company, an organization, an entity, or a government. Identity can even be a thing: a chair, a room, a bot, and so on. When we talk about identities, we are referring to "identities as accounts".

What is a claim?

An Identity can provide a claim. You can think of a claim as a statement: something an Identity is saying.

Most of the time, these statements refer to other identities. In other words, claims usually create relations between identities.

For example, when a university (identity) says that a student (identity) has a degree, this is a statement (claim) about the student. In this case, this statement creates a relation between the two identities, the student (also referred as Holder) and the university (also referred as Issuer).

What are the agents in this process?

  • Issuer: An identity who makes a claim.
  • Holder: An identity who receives a claim.
  • Verifier: An identity who verifies if the content of a claim is issued by a specific identity and held by another specific identity.

1 - Identity

And therefore, what is a Verifiable Credential?

A Verifiable Credential (VC) is the set of data that represents the statement made from an Issuer to a Holder and information needed to make this statement verifiable.
It usually contains:

  • Information to identify the Issuer
  • Information to identify the Holder
  • The credential type or schema
  • The attributes or properties being asserted by the Issuer
  • Evidences that can be used to verify the integrity and/or authenticity of the credential
  • Other information such as validity period, terms, ...