IIW 2022 Recap: Building an SSI Proof of Concept in 30 Minutes and The Catch-22 of Interoperability

Trinsic Team Members at IIW

Internet Identity Workshop IIWXXXIV

The 34th Internet Identity Workshop in Mountain View, California was a major success. Our Trinsic team, sporting our Trinsic-blue Vans, gathered with hundreds of other buzzing minds to discuss the disruptive technologies and principles that are shaping the internet movements around us. The conference covered a wide array of topics with over 80 sessions held in the span of a few days. While we can’t begin to do a comprehensive overview of all of IIW, below are some key insights our team gained from this latest IIW.


Building in Under 30 Minutes

IIW is the perfect staging ground for testing out ideas and experimenting with emerging technology. Keeping in tradition with other IIW conferences, our Trinsic team talked with new innovators this spring about building an SSI proof of concept in under 30 minutes. This year’s group taught us the following in regards to building and testing SSI proof of concepts:

  1. You truly can build a proof of concept in under an hour. The feasibility of building and testing a concept is not only thrilling but it also means we can make advancements in digital identity quicker. If testing is easier, more ideas can be brought to light which enables us to sift through and make headway in building better identity products for everyone. If you’re someone with an idea but have been hesitant about where to begin building and testing, this is an excellent place to begin working within minutes.
  2. We build better products when we openly collaborate with each other. If you’re looking to build a new ecosystem, seek feedback from community members who have been through the process or are building a product that could complement yours. At the end of the day, we’ll only be successful if all our identity products are interoperable. Yet that won’t ever happen if we aren’t talking with one another and following the same standards. Trinsic’s developer slack community is a great place to start meeting and speaking with fellow builders.
  3. The best SSI proof of concepts are built by teams with great chemistry. We’ve worked with a lot of companies, and those that are the most successful are successful because of their team. Having the right resources in terms of talent often outweighs the importance of other capital resources. This spring’s IIW conference showcased a growing community of talented companies, with a rapidly growing need to hire. It seems we’re all hiring, which means we can each expect to put a lot more effort into attracting top talent.


The Catch-22 of Interoperability

Verifiable credentials and adoption were among the hottest topics of IIW. The unique value of a verifiable credential is the fact that it is an interoperable standard–that is, one credential can be accepted and verified across multiple institutions. However, the value of a standard is less obvious before being widely adopted. Thus, we find ourselves with a chicken-and-egg problem: how do we get people to use verifiable credentials while the main value is the fact that other people are using the standard? The key is to focus on solving business problems today for a single ecosystem. That’s why Trinsic created Trinsic Ecosystems, a product focused on enabling adoption among issuers and verifiers. If you’re building an SSI ecosystem, reach out for a demo.


Decentralized Identity Has Great People

IIW once more established that this industry has some of the best people. From veteran faces like Sam Smith to newcomers (Josh from our team attended for the first time), we truly have some of the kindest, most brilliant minds around. Here are a few noteworthy folks we’re going to be following after IIW:

  • Evin McMullen. Evin spoke about adoption among web3 users at IIW. Catch her bringing self-sovereign identity to the Metaverse with Disco.xyz.
  • Ankur Banerjee: Ankur lifted the sights of the group at IIW. You’ll find him building a network for creating digital credential businesses at Cheqd.
  • Wenjing Chu. Wenjing spoke about a framework for interoperability at this year’s conference. He’s currently leading the open-source standard work with multiple organizations, including Trust Over IP
  • Mike Ebert. Mike is working on the code side of machine-readable governance at Indicio, which is similar to a Trust Registry.
  • Michael Boyd. Michael spoke about digital wallet UI this spring and is Trinsic’s Co-Founder and CPO. If you want to talk about web wallets and debate decentralization concepts, reach out to him.
  • Kristina Yasuda. Kristina has been recognized for her innovative work around the world. You’ll find her leading identity standards at Microsoft.  

Stay tuned for more insights and industry updates. If you haven’t already, sign up for our newsletter below to never miss an invite. (Pssst…We have some big news coming next week you won’t want to miss.)

Like blue Vans and disrupting the identity space? Come join our team. 

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