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Digital Identities

One of the main features of the 3air platform are Digital Identities. Identities are a cornerstone of our society, and a big part of Africa’s population still lacks proper identification and provable records from different fields, such as finance, education, and health.

Digital identities can provide all of this in a trustless, secure, and private way, enabling credit scores, medical history, or proof of education verifiable directly on the blockchain.

Currently every client must sing up at a vendor and present their physical ID. They need to provide their personal information although most of the information is not needed by the vendor. If singing up online, multiple usernames and passwords are required, or third-party signup services are used. This incurs additional costs and has development, usability, and security flaws.

Although ISPs currently process a lot of relevant personal information about their customers, they are not part of the authentication and identity services in general.

With the 3air platform, ISPs could provide identity-as-a-service services and earn additional revenue streams or offer just additional value to their clients. ISPs are perfectly suited for as such a task. For 3air, each issued Digital identity will incur a fee.

A properly issued digital identity will, in the best-case scenario, be recognized by governmental authorities and could replace even official means of identification. We will strive to achieve status of a licensed or certified ID issuer through our K3 partnership as Official governmental ISP licenses could pave the road in that direction although we do not expect that to happen instantly. Still, identities issued by a licensed ISP provider will have merit with other institutions and businesses, struggling with the low identification means of people in developing countries.

Such an identity will have many benefits for both the client and the ISP. For one, future identification on the platform will be easy, cheap, and trustless from anywhere in the world. 3air users will not need additional identification to use any services connected through 3air, taking away a major security hole and cost from ISPs that join the platform.

On the other hand, once digital identities become mainstream they will be usable on other points of identification, including websites, webstores, shops, bars etc. With proper issuer certification it even has the potential of slowly becoming a mainstream means of identification.

Decentralized identifiers

Talking about Digital identities, the term is only loosely defined, and it can be any means of identifying with a digital document. On the other hand, there is a W3C standard being proposed that defines Decentralized identifiers (DIDs) (W3C, w3.org, 2021) and Verifiable Credentials (VCs) (W3C, w3.org, 2021).

We believe this this will be the standard that will prevail in the digital identities space and this is why we are structuring our identity data model according to this standard. This will make our identities usable in the widest space possible and interoperable with many future projects and institutions.

At the heard of digital identities there will be VCs. Credentials are a part of our daily lives. We use a driver’s license to show that we are capable of operation a vehicle, we use university degrees to prove our level of education and we use passports to travel between countries. The VC specification provides a mechanism to express these sorts of credentials on the web in a way that is cryptographically secure, privacy respecting and machine verifiable.

DIDs in this model refer to any subject (a person, organization, thing, data model, etc.). It is decentralized in the sense that it can be decoupled from centralized registries, identity providers, and certificate authorities.

There are some services that are offering DIDs like Atala Prism, Serto or Veramo some with ready and turnkey solutions, others with SDKs that allow for deeper integration into existing systems.

On the 3air platform each user will have his DID. This DID will be used for all contracts between user and the ISP including granting ISP services, payments, rewards, marketing, microloans or similar.

DID issuing and service interactions

Figure 9 DID issuing and service interactions

How DID issuing and DID interactions work?

A user walks into an ISP or telecom provider that is able to issue a DID. He identifies himself and the ISP creates a DID on the blockchain with his information through the 3air platform. The information is stored in a digital vault. The user gets full control over his DID and can use it to access other services, either with the ISP or other parties that are accepting the level of DID he has been issued. The level is depended on the information provided and licensing of the issuer. With every DID interaction the user has full control over submitted information. Each interaction stores data to build a provable history that might be needed to access certain services in the future.

Mid to long term this will lead to seamless KYC procedures, better customer experience and reduced cost for the ISP. The user will be in full control of who can see or use his private information with the use of Vaults that are under the control of the user.

Vaults allow for sharing private information without revealing sensitive or unnecessary data to the other party. For instance, if you need to be of age for acquiring a service then the questions should be:

  1. Are you older than XX years with the answer simply Yes/No.
  2. Does this information belong to you?

There is no need for the other party to know how old you are exactly, nor what is your name and where you live but those are usually the information that come with regular IDs. As for the second question the digital identities indisputably match the provided information to the correct identity on the basis of biometric data.

The blockchain technology makes it impossible to fake the information or manipulate it from any party and biometrics present a barrier in identity theft.

The user will benefit from the DID with reduced need for constant identification and KYC procedures as well as easier obtaining new services inside the ISP and even outside of it. The same DID can be used on other websites, apps or similar, to uniquely and trustlessly identify a user. Payment records can be used for getting a positive credit score, making it easier acquiring financial services such as loans. A good track record also makes it easier for acquiring other services from different providers. The options are limitless and synergistic.