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Blockcerts: The Open Standard for Blockchain Credentials

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https://ssimeetup.org/blockcerts-open-standard-blockchain-credentials-daniel-paramo-anthony-ronning-webinar-39/
Anthony Ronning, an engineer behind Blockcerts and backend dev at Learning Machine and Daniel Paramo, co-founder of swys and advisor at Xertify, explains how Blockcerts started, deep dive on how Blockcerts work, which institutions are implementing this solution and what companies have made a solution for the adoption of this standard. We will review the current Blockcerts roadmap and their pros and cons. What considerations do we need to take when developing a solution around Blockcerts?

Blockcerts is an open standard for creating, issuing, viewing, and verifying blockchain-based certificates. These digital records are registered on a blockchain, cryptographically signed, tamper-proof, and shareable. The goal is to enable a wave of innovation that gives individuals the capacity to possess and share their own official records.

The initial design was based on prototypes developed at the MIT Media Lab and by Learning Machine. The goal of this community is to create technical resources that other developers can utilize in their own projects. Rather than independently developing custom implementations.

Blockcerts consists of open-source libraries, tools, and mobile apps enabling a decentralized, standards-based, recipient-centric ecosystem, enabling trustless verification through blockchain technologies.

Blockcerts uses and encourages consolidation on open standards. Blockcerts is committed to self-sovereign identity of all participants, and enabling recipient control of their claims through easy-to-use tools such as the certificate wallet (mobile app). Blockcerts is also committed to availability of credentials, without single points of failure.

These open-source repos may be utilized by other research projects and commercial developers. It contains components for creating, issuing, viewing, and verifying certificates across any blockchain.

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Blockcerts: The Open Standard for Blockchain Credentials

  1. 1. The Open Standard for Blockchain Credentials This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org Anthony Ronning @cycryptr Blockcerts Dev and Backend Engineer at Learning Machine Daniel Paramo @danparamov Co-Founder of swys, Advisor at Xertify and Founder of echoisolutions
  2. 2. 1. Empower global SSI communities 2. Open to everyone interested in SSI 3. All content is shared with CC BY SA SSIMeetup.org Alex Preukschat @SSIMeetup @AlexPreukschat Coordinating Node SSIMeetup.org https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ SSIMeetup objectives
  3. 3. Who are we? This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org - Blockcerts Developer - Backend Engineer at Learning Machine - Advisor at Trukl.io - Bitcoin / Lightning Enthusiast - Former Biz Dev at Learning Machine - Co-Founder of swys - Advisor at Xertify - Founder of Echo Intelligent Solutions - Helicopter geek
  4. 4. Blockcerts is an open standard for building apps that issue and verify blockchain-based official records. These may include certificates for civic records, academic credentials, professional licenses, workforce development, and more. What is Blockcerts? This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  5. 5. Blockcerts Flow This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org 1. Issuer invites recipient (url, email, qrcode, etc) 2. Recipient “Adds Issuer” in app, transmitting blockchain address 3. A credential is created for the recipient, adding their address inside of the credentials. Credential is then hashed 4. Recipient receives credential (deep link url, import json file, etc.) 5. Recipient can then send to a verifier (url if hosted, json if not) 6. Verifier can verify using open source verifiers or on blockcerts.org
  6. 6. UI - Blockcerts.org This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  7. 7. UI - Blockcerts Mobile App This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  8. 8. ● Extension to the Open Badges Standard ● JSON-LD File ● Contains information about the issuer, recipient, & achievement ● Hashes all relevant data, creates transaction with hash in the data field, signs. & broadcasts transaction. ○ Blockchain receipt information is then written back into the credential. ○ Uses Merkle Trees (more info later) ● Verifiers check hash of the data compared to the blockchain transaction, then verifies issuer & revocation status. Technical Information This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  9. 9. 637ec732fa4b7b56f4c15a6a126 80519a17a9e9eade09f5b424a4 8eb0e6f5ad0 Blockchain Anchoring - Hashing This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org Minimized Example
  10. 10. Blockchain TransactionCertificate Transaction ID: d75b7...82f8 Blockchain Anchoring - Issuing This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  11. 11. Blockchain TransactionCertificate Transaction ID: d75b7...82f8 Blockchain Anchoring - Verifying This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  12. 12. Certificate Issuer Revocation List Blockchain Anchoring - Status Check
  13. 13. ● Created with the object of being blockchain agnostic ● First Bitcoin, then Ethereum. ● Has implementations in Hyperledger ● Blockchain ”connectors” in Open Source ○ Trivial to add more, depends on difficulty of developing for a given blockchain. Blockchain Agnostic This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  14. 14. ● Merkle Tree mechanism also used to verify transactions in a blockchain. ● Single blockchain transaction per issuance does not scale. ● Certificates hashed together in a tree, resulting root hash on the blockchain. Scaling through Merkle Trees This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  15. 15. ● Blockcerts meant to be shared with verifiers ● Whole Blockcert is needed to verify ● Should not put more info than necessary ○ Example: Home Address in a Graduation Certificate ● Zero Knowledge Proofs can help mitigate PII, but not currently supported in BlockcertsV2. More info later. What data is safe to put in a Blockcerts? This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  16. 16. ● Currently supports HTML throughout the blockcerts ecosystem. ● HTML is rendered when viewing a Blockcert in the mobile app or through our frontend verifier components. ● Harmful HTML is stripped from view. ● Currently not standardized in Blockcerts, plans for it (and additional display types) for V3. Verifiable Displays This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  17. 17. ● Part of verification when Issuer is checked. ● Many reasons for revocations ○ Accidental ○ Fraud, ○ Etc. ● Revocation URL with a list of certificate ID’s and revocation reasons. ● Expirations supported without needing to do a revocation. ● Will get uplifted in V3 along with Issuer URLs. Revocations This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  18. 18. What companies are building a solutions around Blockcerts? This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  19. 19. Use Cases This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  20. 20. www.zeemaps.com/blockcerts Blockcerts Map
  21. 21. Blockcerts allows individuals to own their own credentials and share them in a way that allows verifiers to prove that the certificates are valid, have not been tampered with, existed at a specific time, and were issued by correct issuer. Pros Cons ● Open Source / Open Standard ● Recipient ownership & portable ● Existed at a specific point in time ● Vendor-independent verification ● Verifiable display ● Blockchain agnostic ● Scalable with Merkle Proofs ● Revocable ● Interoperable Standards (JSON-LD, OB, VC’s, DIDs) ● Entire certificate data is needed to verify ○ no Zero-Knowledge Proofs yet ● Requires a blockchain transaction to issue a batch (costs for public blockchains). ● Some certralized points of failures around issuer/revocation URLs ○ mitigated w/ DIDs in V3 Why Blockcerts? This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  22. 22. ● Version 3.0 ○ Big focus on VC’s & DID’s ○ Coming out with a completed draft soon, seeking community feedback ● Learning Machine won a grant to align Blockcerts to the Verifiable Credentials Standard & Decentralized Identifiers. ● Issuing and verification across additional blockchains, beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum Roadmap / Contributing This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  23. 23. A verifiable credential is a tamper-evident credential that has authorship that can be cryptographically verified. Verifiable credentials can be used to build verifiable presentations, which can also be cryptographically verified. The claims in a credential can be about different subjects. https://w3c.github.io/vc-data-model/ Verifiable Credentials This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  24. 24. Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) are a new type of identifier for verifiable, decentralized digital identity. These new identifiers are designed to enable the controller of a DID to prove control over it and to be implemented independently of any centralized registry, identity provider, or certificate authority. DIDs are URLs that relate a DID subject to means for trustable interactions with that subject. https://w3c-ccg.github.io/did-spec/ did:example:123456789abcdefghi Decentralized Identifiers This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org
  25. 25. Anthony Ronning - @cycryptr Blockcerts Dev and Backend Engineer at Learning Machine Daniel Paramo - @danparamov Co-Founder of swys, Advisor at Xertify and Founder of echoisolutions Thank you! This presentation is released under a Creative Commons license. (CC BY-SA 4.0). SSIMeetup.org

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