Polygon ID Open Source Release Brings Better Digital Trust for All
“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” In 1993, this famous New Yorker cartoon featuring a mutt surfing the Web delivered a prescient warning about one of the Internet’s biggest flaws. Over the three decades that followed, online identity has been corralled by large enterprises in service of surveillance capitalism. Today, with the release of the Polygon ID self-sovereign identity infrastructure stack, developers are one step closer to solving the issue of digital trust.
Polygon ID offers tools that allow developers to build self-sovereign, decentralized and private identity solutions for users that are worthy of the next iteration of the Internet. Polygon ID, announced last March, is now available under an open source license to the public and is fully self-service – using the Polygon ID infrastructure stack, anyone can become an issuer (e.g., KYC providers, DAOs, etc.), verifier (e.g., dApps) or holder (i.e., users) of a Web3 identity. This means that off-chain data can now be used for trustless on-chain verifications in the widely-supported Verified Credential format.
This is a fundamental change in the Internet’s trust model. For businesses leveraging Polygon ID, this may mean the end of headaches dealing with user data management. For individuals, it means greater control over their own identity and discretion in how they use their personal data to answer questions from institutions and private organizations. Polygon ID enables developers to accomplish what previously has not been possible online: enabling trust and verification, while delivering a user-friendly experience and maintaining the veil of privacy.
Polygon ID unlocks the following use cases for developers building for end users:
- Don’t trust, verify - users can prove they are human without necessarily disclosing personal information. The unique ZK-Query language makes elaborate proofs like "I’m older than 18 and a citizen of the U.K." possible.
- Real world credentials meet Web3 - users can generate zero-knowledge proofs using off-chain credentials (a diploma, driver’s license or national ID) to interact with smart contracts.
- Improved user experience - users can take advantage of passwordless login to keep the hackers at bay, reusable credentials that let people easily onboard to new services, and composable reputation that follows users across multiple apps.
- Compliance without sacrificing privacy - with zero-knowledge technology, developers can leverage zero-knowledge technology within their existing compliance processes without sacrificing user privacy.
The public release adds four new tools to the Polygon ID Toolset: Verifier SDK (for verifiers), Issuer Node (for issuers), Wallet SDK (for wallet builders) and Wallet App (for devs and end users). This helps developers integrate decentralized identity into their applications while also being Web3 native. All of these tools are made available under the open source AGPL license.
Polygon ID Developer Use Cases
Developers can unlock a host of new use cases by leveraging Polygon ID. The applications are as diverse as the Internet itself and range from Proof of Uniqueness and Immediate onboarding to use by Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAOs) and Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Here are just some of the possible use cases.
- DAOs: Members often wish to remain anonymous online, while still participating in DAO governance which requires trust and proof of reputation. Using Polygon ID tools, DAOs can verify membership without needing their members to disclose their identity.
- KYC: Identity verification in traditional finance still relies on data-heavy KYC practices and DeFi appears to be moving in the same direction. With Polygon ID, developers can build solutions that allow their end users to prove their eligibility once to receive a KYC credential, and then re-use that credential for financial and other high-value services without necessarily disclosing their personal information again.
- E-commerce Customer Onboarding: Customers are increasingly using online and mobile payments to purchase goods and services. Polygon ID provides an identity layer for e-commerce customers that can be used to increase payment security while reducing the costs of storing customer and payment data.
- Passwordless Login: Users have, on average, hundreds of passwords that are often insecure and hard to track. Passwordless logins exchange encrypted verifiable credentials by simply scanning a QR code or connecting to a desktop wallet. Organizations can benefit from improved security, a better user experience, and productivity of their system administrators whose time is not taken up by password resets.
- Undercollateralized Lending: Undercollateralized decentralized lending requires both risk assessment for loan approval and identifiable information in case of default. Current unsecured lending has off-chain risk assessment and stores identity data. Polygon ID can be used to bring these elements on-chain by coupling the private on-chain credit score to a persistent identity. The identity retrieval system enables minimized data to be shared by being cryptographically secured with embedded access-control. Eventually, as fully on-chain identities are created, Polygon ID can provide those same benefits to that on-chain identity.
- Portable Avatars & Reputation: Within a traditional game, a user’s items and achievements can only be used within the game itself. With the rise of in-game asset purchases and the customization of avatars, users can’t take their progress elsewhere. Polygon ID can enable users to store and update digital assets (including avatars and objects), achievements, and progress to be used across different games and across the metaverse.
Meet Those Already Building With Polygon ID
Blockchain Lock, an IoT device and blockchain company, is using Polygon ID to facilitate unlocking and locking of office spaces using its trust network.
Bloock, a blockchain technology company, is building a trust network to facilitate identity issuance to over 7,000 real estate agents for management of user reputation, training requirements and more.
Collab.Land, an automated community management tool that curates membership based on token ownership, is making it easy for DAO communities to prove that their users are human beings and have cleared KYC requirements. It will also let users display credentials created with the help of Polygon ID on their Discord profiles.
Fractal ID, an identity verification provider, is offering identity check and KYC services to both individuals and businesses. It is also ready to offer KYC and background verification services to DeFi and DAO protocols looking to credentialize their user base. Once issued these credentials can be reused across the growing developer ecosystem building using Polygon ID.
Kaleido, a Web3 infrastructure provider, is offering Polygon ID implementation services to large enterprises interested in adding identity and KYC elements for both public and permissioned blockchain networks. Kaleido also plans to offer a software-as-a-service credential issuance offering built using Polygon ID.
LoginID, a KYC and identity verification service, is using Polygon ID to reach maximum impact and trust with simplified identity experiences based on verifiable data at scale and integrating Polygon ID into their mobile app.
WIW, a privacy-preserving identity protocol, is using Polygon ID to issue verifiable credentials for on-chain reputations.
The suite of Polygon ID tooling comprising the Verifier SDK, Issuer Node, Wallet SDK and Wallet App uses the iden3 protocol and Circom ZK toolkit in its core. Previous versions of the Polygon ID tooling have already been used by thousands at hackathons and dozens of third party builders. The Polygon ID method for verifiable credentials is currently undergoing the registration process at the W3C.
If you are at ETHDenver, make sure to join the Polygon ID hackathons. Web3 devs can start immediately with Polygon ID tutorials. Tune into the blog and social channels to stay up to date on the latest from the Polygon ID team.
Together, we can build an equitable future for all through mass adoption of Web3!