What Is IDtech and Why Does It Matter?

You may have noticed that Trinsic is using the term “IDtech” these days. This post compiles a growing list of pieces we’ve published to illustrate what we mean by IDtech, why it’s important, and how it relates to other terms used in the decentralized identity world.

IDtech Is the New Fintech Article in Forbes

Link to the article in Forbes

The first article, published by our CEO Riley Hughes in Forbes, makes the case that we’re about to see enormous growth in the number of identity technology companies.

Here are some excerpts from the piece:

The convenience, optionality and accessibility that fintech brought to money is happening to the archaic, paper-based world of personal identity. Identity today is where financial services were 15 years ago—and, therefore, represents one of the largest opportunities of this generation.

Like fintech before it, IDtech is making brand new product experiences possible for the first time. And building IDtech products is easier now than it’s ever been. The surge of IDtech products being developed will bring the identity and finance ecosystems back into sync and lead to scores of incredible new startups. Finally, IDtech will enable any company to become an identity company by layering identity capabilities into existing products.

As our lives become increasingly digital, bringing identity off of paper and into the 21st century is important—but it’s critical it’s done in the right way: by using user-centric, portable, private and interoperable technology. The future of digital identity will be driven by the growth of IDtech products.

Intro to IDtech: How Decentralized Identity Will Be Adopted

Link to the article on Medium

The second piece examines four potential paths that identity technology could take to be adopted and settles on what we believe to be the most viable: innovators building great products.

Here are some highlights from this post:

If decentralized identity technologies are developed without achieving widespread end-user adoption, did it actually accomplish anything?

The way to achieve adoption is simple (albeit challenging to execute): the key is lots of well-executing teams building useful products. “IDtech” is a term to talk about that very thing.

While well-intentioned, all the academic analysis, decentralized governance, value chain mapping, or market sizing in the world won’t get us any closer to SSI adoption. Solid product work is what will get us there—researching low-friction UIs, building sustainable business models, baking interoperability in, and iterating quickly are all examples of good product work. And this needs to be done by lots of people in lots of industries and lots of use cases. 1,000 nimble teams taking products to market will teach us so much more than 10 “queen bee” companies ever would.

IDtech is the name we’ve begun using to describe the organization-driven, bottom-up adoption motion. It gives us a term to describe products instead of philosophies, initiatives, concepts, or technologies. If a fintech product helps you manage your money, an IDtech product helps you manage your identity and data.

Self-sovereign identity will be adopted as thousands of innovators launch IDtech products that solve real problems for users.

Has SSI’s Identity Problem Been Solved?

Link to the article on Medium

The third piece clarifies how all of these terms relate, and when to use terms like SSI, Web5, IDtech, Reusable Identity, and Authentic Data.

Here is a summary of quotes from the post:

SSI stands for “self-sovereign identity” — a new kind of standardized, user-controlled digital identity. But a host of other terms are used to describe the same thing — like “decentralized identity” and “self-managed identity,” and none have emerged victorious.

IDtech refers to products that empower users to take control of their identity, share their data safely, and more securely access the things they need.

Web5 is a new term — but much has been said about it already. On the homepage of TBD, they describe it as “an extra decentralized web that puts you in control of your data and identity.”

Reusable identity refers to people holding “interoperable identity credentials” (source) that are broadly accepted and authenticate-able in real time, reducing the need to re-verify people and resulting in easier-to-access and lower-cost services.

Authentic or Verifiable Data: SSI produces data that is authentic (meaning “of undisputed origin; genuine”) which is slightly more accurate than verifiable (meaning “able to be checked or demonstrated to be true, accurate, or justified”).

Our goal at Trinsic is to make the world more accessible by empowering teams to build amazing identity products. IDtech is the term to describe the product/application layer that is emerging on top of the concepts, technologies, and paradigms we’ve spoken about herein.

When talking about the technology or architecture of a product, I’ll continue to use web5, web3, or web2 as shorthand, despite not loving the “webX” framing. And I’ll use reusable identity, decentralized identity, and self-sovereign identity as high-level terms to describe the ideology driving the change in the identity market, depending on the audience I’m speaking to. And when I’m talking about the end result, or the component parts of an IDtech solution, particularly for relying parties, I’ll speak to authentic/verifiable data.

As I’ve stated before, IDtech is the new Fintech. And the winning IDtech products over the next decade will be ones built using the principles of self sovereignty and reusability.

If you’re building an IDtech product, get in touch with Trinsic, or sign up for a free account to start building your solution today.

Note: This post will be updated periodically as we share additional content related to building and launching successful IDtech products.