An issuer is an entity that can issue a credential. They assert claims about subjects, create credentials from these claims and then send them to holders.
Issuers are typically businesses or public sector entities, who are considered authoritative sources of particular data attributes. For example, they can be government departments, financial institutions, education providers or other types of businesses.
Holders are the owners of credentials - either organisations or individuals.
They hold credentials in digital wallets and other forms, and control who they share these with, when required for verification purposes.
Verifiers are entities that rely on credentials. They ensure credentials haven’t been tampered with and that they’re still relevant. They receive credentials presented by holders and confirm that the information stored in these credentials is true without correlation back to the issuer.
Verifiers can be any individual or organisation that relies on the information held within a credential.
Trust enabled in controlled domains
A trust network simplifies and restores confidence in everyday interactions, allowing people, organisations and things to confidently transact, interact and share secure, digitally verifiable data across digital boundaries. Data shared in one context can then be useful in many without complex integrations. Trust can effectively exist without the boundaries of traditional relationships.
1. Private ecosystem
Relationships, process and data operate within a single domain, i.e. within an organisation.
2. Closed ecosystem
Spanning beyond boundaries to near trusted entities, credentials issued by one organisation may be used cross-contextually by members of the ecosystem.
3. Fully open
Relationships, process and data span across ecosystems, networks and domains.
Trust frameworks establish the practices and principles for the diverse stakeholders that make up a network or ecosystem. They lay down the ‘rules of the road’ to create confidence for all participants, and often address considerations such as:
- Principles - the guiding principles of the ecosystem.
- Participants and roles - Issuer, Holder, Subject, Relying Party, Service Provider and Infrastructure Provider.
- Rules - the basis for accreditating participants to the framework, including standards and regulations.
- Accreditation - signals to consumers and other participants who can be trusted, and includes the process for gaining that.
- Governance - the body responsible for reviewing and updating the trust framework as required.
Building trust in a digital world means having confidence in the information sent and received in an ecoystem.
Where there’s high trust in an ecosystem:
- Authentic information removes frustration
- Assurance processes speed up decision making
- Friction is removed and experience is improved
Trust anchors are authoritative entities in whom trust is assumed and not derived. They are mutually trusted by all parties in an ecosystem, as often they are the authority or source of truth on a particular dataset. Sometimes trust anchors play a broader role in an ecosystem, acting as a service provider to other participants. This might mean that they accredit wallets or provide trusted issuer and verification services to other parties.
Establish your own trust ecosystem
If you have a need for digital trust and you might benefit from our solutions, get in touch with us and we can help you define your ecosystem and stand up a transformational solution with you.