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How We’re Creating Blockchain Interoperability With SSI

date_range October 27, 2021
person Miriam
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Blockchain interoperability is the reality where blockchains work together as seamlessly as a Samsung phone sending a text message to an iPhone – the fact that these devices are powered by Android and Apple respectively is completely irrelevant to the transfer of information between them. Blockchain interoperability likewise, is the golden horizon where all wallets support all coins, Ethereum and Bitcoin are merely blockchain “brands,” and the user has full freedom to transfer, stake, use, and exchange their cryptos without thinking about blockchain distinctions. 

Blockchain interoperability is the ticket to mass adoption and success, and many projects are working towards this goal: uniting the decentralized world by building the infrastructure to pave the way for the seamless integration of blockchain, crypto, and dApps into everyday life. One piece of technology that is crucial to blockchain interoperability, security, and implementation is Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI).

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Power to individuals

At the moment, when we log onto a digital product or service, be it a game, a shopping site, or a financial tool, we leave behind traces of our identity: email, name, date of birth, etc. It has reached a point where it is nearly impossible to keep track of our identity, who has access to it, which pieces are distributed across the digital space, and how they’re being used (or abused). We are made vulnerable to trust innumerable companies and firms with pieces of information that we as individuals should own and control.

SSI technology is emerging to restore this critical control to each individual.

SSI technology creates a secure connection between an ID issuer, owner, and verifier using decentralized identifiers (DIDs) which are encrypted pieces of information stored on the blockchain. The control over which institutions can access an ID or credential – be it an issuing institution such as the State, or a verifying institution such as a bank – remains in the pocket of the ID owner. This system mimics the ethos of paper credentials for the digital world.

It allows you to own a collection of digital IDs, each with the cryptographic signature of the issuing institution (i.e. the issuing institution’s public key). All you need to do is provide an encrypted version of the ID – whether as a QR code, or a link, and the verifier will know that it is trustworthy without ever viewing the actual contents of your information. 

How SSI creates an interoperable experience

Think about the KYC onboarding process we must go through for each individual application or service we want to use. Depending on the nature of the service, the KYC process may be more or less rigorous. We provide photos of documents that are (allegedly) our own. We provide a Social Security number, an address, a date of birth, a selfie. At best, this process is time-consuming, at worst, it’s invasive and inadequate.

SSI tech is emerging to replace all of the existing insufficient methods of digital identity verification across all apps, platforms, services, websites, institutions, state jurisdictions, and country borders, eliminating language barriers through pieces of reliable encrypted code. SSI is the universal proof of identity, representing the ultimate force for interoperability across all aspects of our lives.

Here is an example:

  • Bob graduates from MIT
  • MIT sends Bob his diploma digitally as a verifiable credential (VC)
  • Bob’s VC diploma will probably not look anything like the paper version. It may merely be a QR code or a piece of code containing MIT’s encrypted public and private keys and other necessary information.
  • Bob saves his diploma in his SSI-secured wallet 
  • Bob moves to Japan and looks for a job at Toyota
  • Toyota asks Bob to prove that he indeed earned his BSc from MIT
  • Bob sends Toyota the VC he received from MIT 
  • Bob starts working at Toyota
  • A few years later, Bob quits his job to start his own company
  • Bob enters into his SSI secured wallet and revokes Toyota’s access to his diploma VC

Bob can present his VCs to be accepted across country borders, languages, and jurisdictions. He can also can grant/revoke permissions to his information, and the credentials themselves are encrypted for an added layer of privacy.

We speak of institutions that have direct business with Bob. But SSI doesn’t stop there. It has the potential to give us control over our identity across all of the apps we use. The problem is, we need SSI to be universally accepted by all of the apps we use; we need a unifying force for SSI.   

Magic Connect and SSI

Enter Magic Connect, Magic Square’s implementation of SSI technology across all apps and services on the Magic Store, to give users the ultimate cross-chain autonomy, privacy, and security. Magic Connect, an SSI-secured login, is the single point to entry across all Magic Store dApps, bringing users top security, control, and usability with one simple click. This click (or tap!) is the bridge across all apps spanning blockchains, protocols, and services. 

As Magic Square continues to introduce user-facing products with interoperability and usability at the forefront, it becomes clear that the infrastructures surrounding the Magic Store and the technologies that enable them, such as Magic Connect and SSI, are leading the crypto space towards incredible feats in terms of cross-chain interoperability. Stay tuned here on the blog and join our community to stay up to date on our products, features, and developments.