How Do DIDs Work?

Decentralized Identifiers (DID) can be adapted to any modern blockchain, distributed ledger, or other decentralised network capable of resolving a unique key into a unique value. It does not matter whether the blockchain is public, private, permissionless, or permissioned. Each DID will give you a lifetime encrypted private channel with another person, organisation, or thing. 

Besides authentication, it can also be used to exchange verifiable digital credentials - with no central authority needed.  Every DID is registered directly by you on a public or private blockchain or distributed network. No identifier in history has had all these four properties because what fundamentally enables DIDs is blockchain technology.

DID method specs (as pictured below) define how to read and write a DID on a specific blockchain or distributed network.

 For example, some different DID methods:

  • Ethereum DID: did:eth:fec9ajsduhr314ji87da
  • SelfKey DID: did:selfkey:f34kasuhweqij21320x5213

DIDs are currently being standardised by the W3C Credentials Community Group and working in conjunction with the Decentralised Identity Foundation (DIF). Membership is free and open to all. Everyone participating (including SelfKey) will make DIDs operable with each other.