Lack of great user experiences is often raised as one of decentralized identity’s (and public blockchain’s) missing ingredients for ubiquitous adoption. However to arrive at usable experiences across the industry, we first need to reach consensus around basic user personas and mental models, then design and build interoperable system accordingly.

In “the internet’s missing identity layer” we took a stab at an acceptable set of personas and solution criteria for this self-described identity system.

In “Economics of identity systems” we also observed how users already interact with identity-related concepts in their day-to-day economic activities, and the artifacts they use as…

Universal Identity has an inherent focus on human usability, which results in a unique mix of goals, ideas, and approaches to tackling the self-sovereign identity problem. As a complement to this subjective point of view, we strive to also understand the world as objectively as possible.

Our effort first aims to build a detailed map of the identity industry and underlying ecosystems, both of the historic and future versions, and with detailed drill downs into areas likely requiring significant evolution in future technology waves. Ultimately we have to understand the markets and ecosystems across multiple domains and disciplines.

This article…

Economists have a unique way of observing and evaluating human activities based on produced economic surplus. Although excessive reliance on this viewpoint can prove myopic and amoral, it is nevertheless a useful tool for assessing the underlying reality of things.

In this article we focus on a detailed understanding of the economic realities of identity systems, in terms of their contribution to value creation, their usage of specific processes, artifacts, and tools, and their relation to the most common economic activities. …

The idea of self-sovereign identity has been getting a lot of traction in the past few years, and a good number of projects have claimed to take on its mantle. Universal Identity is one such effort that was born out of the struggle to make existing decentralized identity technology work specifically for consumers.

So what makes Universal Identity unique and worth pursuing? In short, Universal Identity has an inherent focus on human usability, which results in a unique mix of goals, ideas, and approaches to tackling the self-sovereign identity problem.

Universal Identity starts with the idea that the internet should…

Simplified internet architecture

Internet and the web are essentially public goods, that benefit people across the globe. However, the identity systems that currently help consumers use the web are ultimately private goods, primarily benefiting their providers, as opposed to the actual identity owners. Additionally, these systems are fragmented across multiple centralized providers, including the likes of Facebook, Google, as well as other proprietary solutions.

In this article, we first explore the history that has lead us to this point. We then explain the need for, and describe the general outlines of, a truly public internet identity layer, one that primarily benefits the identity…

Every time I tell someone about identity (my field of work), they glare back with a perplexed expression. Why does the word “identity” confuse people so much? Surely this has something to do with its many overloaded meanings across technology, business, and humanities. Identity has become a designated buzz-word that confuses and impresses audiences, enough to make them more susceptible to sales tactics.

What if we could break down and demystify the word?

And so, I set out to find a clear definition that would help me explain identity to others.

Summary

The simplest everyday definition of identity has to do…

Nima Kamoosi

I work on decentralized identity systems and consumer user experiences. http://universal.id

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