Telefónica TrustID, its decentralized Identity solution, moves to Hyperledger Labs

Earlier this year, we wrote a post for the Hyperledger blog about how we were working in Telefónica to face the challenges of managing identities in a new and actually decentralized way. Based on the interest raised by this work, we proposed TrustID as a new project under the umbrella of Hyperledger Labs. TrustID was accepted and has moved to Hyperledger Labs so, from now on, the open source community will contribute to the evolution of the solution initially developed by Telefónica. The aim is to develop a new standard to simplify identity management in blockchain networks regardless of the underlying technology of the networks.

Over the past few years, we have witnessed the development and creation of digital identity solutions based on blockchain technology. However, most of these solutions are in silos, not interoperable, and dependent on the underlying technology.

The same credentials used to access your owned Bitcoins and manage your tokens in Ethereum should let you update the state of a Hyperledger Fabric asset. This is the rationale behind TrustID. In the end, the goal that we have set for TrustID is to create a cross-platform mechanism to manage one unique identity to have access to any blockchain. It doesn’t matter if the network you are operating on is based on Hyperledger technologies (Fabric, Besu, Indy, etc.) or other common blockchain technologies.

In Hyperledger Fabric, identities are centralized by the Certificate Authorities (CAs) that have issued those identities. Initially, TrustID implements identity management in Hyperledger Fabric as a decentralized alternative to CAs by using the DID standard specified by the W3C. However, we expect to make it compatible with more Hyperledger platforms like Besu or Indy and even other blockchain technologies other than Hyperledger ones.

Going into a deeper level, TrustID is made up of two components: (1) a library (SDK) that implements the management of a single identity and (2) a chaincode to implement this logic in the blockchain in a decentralized way. That single identity will be interoperable with other identities on different blockchain platforms wallets.

At Telefónica, we started TrustID as a module to make it easier to enable identity management for our product TrustOS. Beyond our product need, TrustID solved a common issue for many blockchain projects. We realized it could be more than a module and instead be a standalone project itself. As we shared this vision with other members in the community, we confirmed the interest in the TrustID approach for managing identities, so we decided the best way to make it really awesome was to open source it. Hyperledger Labs became the best option. In the roadmap, we are envisioning a compatibility of TrustID with the proposal of the Sidetree protocol and Verified Credentials from the DIF (Decentralized Identity Foundation), and its integration with other projects of the ecosystem such as Hyperledger Cactus, Indy and Besu.

We expect TrustID to grow thanks to its inclusion as an Hyperledger Lab. Last but not least, we’d appreciate any feedback and contributions from the Hyperledger community. We hope and  believe that TrustID is the starting point to allowing a level of interoperability between blockchain platforms for identity management. And remember, TrustID is looking for your contribution…We want you!