10 Predictions for IDtech in 2024

10 Predictions for IDtech in 2024

The start of a new year is always a great time to reflect on where we are and speculate about where we’re going. As I’ve spent time pondering these questions, I thought it’d be fun to document some specific predictions about 2024. I do not have any special information informing these predictions—many are nothing more than speculation! So obviously nothing here is investment advice, and I hope you’ll let me know if you disagree with any of these—then we can see how things pan out in 12 months!

1. 50% of US states will have mobile driver’s license announced

Currently, 16 states have announced or are already live with mobile driver’s licenses according to IDScan. Millions of Americans can already use mDLs to get through TSA at airports (as I did here) or, in some states, access age-restricted content online.

2. Two identity verification companies will merge to create bigger reusable ID distribution advantage

All reusable identity solutions suffer from a cold start problem. The value of the reusable ID system is a function of the number of users (e.g. distribution). I predict this year we’ll see at least one merger of IDV companies, where a key underwriting condition is the enhanced ability to create a reusable ID network together relative to what either could do alone.

3. Industry bodies will consolidate

The identity space is oversaturated on industry associations and standards bodies. Between W3C, DIF, OWF, ToIP, IETF, C2PA, HL, ISO, and more, I predict we’ll see some consolidation between at least two of these organizations.

4. Verifiable credentials will be issued, but only be verified for their intended purpose

To my knowledge, despite millions of verifiable credentials being issued, none have been used for purposes outside their original intent. In other words, university credentials are only used within universities, concert tickets only used at concerts, and physician’s licenses only used within hospitals, etc. But the promise of verifiable credentials is an interoperable standard that can be as versatile as a driver’s license—which I use for things other than proving driving eligibility all the time!

My prediction is this will remain so in 2024, and start to change in 2025. Therefore, apps that focus on building for an optimal “intended” use case first will win, relative to ones that prematurely optimize for broad interoperability in the near-term.

5. Someone will create/announce a Reusable ID/IDtech/SSI-focused conference

There are a handful of identity-focused conferences around the world, but none whose stated purpose is to advance portable identity approaches. I predict 2024 will be the year someone announces a dedicated conference just for this purpose. I want this to exist, but I don’t want to organize it. But if someone is doing this and needs help or resources, please reach out to me. 😊

6. I’ll unexpectedly encounter a reusable ID solution in the wild

I seek out opportunities to use products powered by verifiable credentials, or even anything offering reusable ID. But when going about my everyday life, I never encounter them—nor do my friends, family, or colleagues. My prediction is that in 2024, I’ll unexpectedly see a reusable ID solution and choose to use it.

7. A country in Africa or Asia will announce it is following in Bhutan’s footsteps

Bhutan is leading the world with a self-sovereign identity-based solution led by the government for all citizens. I predict that Bhutan’s lead will be followed by other governments of a similar size who are looking to empower citizens and grease the wheels of commerce in their nations. 

8. TikTok and Snapchat will follow X, Meta, and LinkedIn into offering verified profiles via identity verification

Impersonation on social media, especially with the advances of AI, is a major problem. Most major social platforms have introduced formal government ID document verification to validate specific profiles are who they claim to be. Despite being major social platforms, TikTok and Snapchat have held out formal IDV. I expect 2024 is the year that will change.

9. Major content authenticity scandal will break, driving the need for identity-bound content credentials

I predict something akin to the pope jacket photo—but consequential—will occur in 2024. This will cause major content distribution platforms to support the C2PA standard. But simply supporting a standard won’t be enough—content creators will need to verify who they are in order to increase the trust in those credentials.

10. Apple will face antitrust pressure related to their mobile driver’s license practices with state governments and TSA

Apple’s practices related to driving mobile driver’s licenses with government bodies has been criticized over the last year or so. I predict in 2024 these criticisms will reach the right folks in the FTC/DOJ and lead to pressure. I expect Apple will change strategy slightly and open up their APIs and contracts to enable more optionality and choice for consumers.

Let me know what you think!

What do you think will happen in the identity industry in 2024? Let me know by commenting on LinkedIn or X (formerly Twitter). If you’re building a reusable identity product in 2024, you should make sure to check out Trinsic’s platform and documentation

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