ICP Unveils Verified Credentials for Data Control in Web3

| Updated
by Godfrey Benjamin · 3 min read
ICP Unveils Verified Credentials for Data Control in Web3
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ICP permits developers to build and run services and enterprise systems directly on a public blockchain network with unprecedented scalability.

Internet Computer Protocol (ICP), a popular decentralized blockchain network, introduced Verified Credentials (VCs) as an innovative solution for Web3. Launched at the recent Digital Identity unConference Europe (DICE) 2024, VCs offer a secure and private way to share personal data, empowering users with control over their information.

ICP Offers Walletless Infrastructure

Unlike current Web3 experiences where wallets like Metamask act as the central identity, VCs introduce a walletless infrastructure. ICP’s VCs help in streamlining credential issuance, sharing, and verification while upholding user privacy. This innovation aligns with a key focus area outlined in ICP’s latest roadmap.

VCs take advantage of Internet Identity (II), a robust decentralized identity solution running on the ICP blockchain. Internet Identity utilizes passkeys instead of passwords or seed phrases, offering enhanced security against phishing attacks compared to traditional methods. Passkeys are built on standardized technology, which provides more secure sign-in methods for user protection.

Previously, Internet Identity assigned a unique yet anonymous identifier for each Decentralized Application (dApp) a user interacted with. This limited the scope of information associated with the user. However, with the VC framework, users can attach identity attributes to their Internet Identity.

Essentially, Verified Credentials offer a different approach to traditional data control. They function as digital verifiable proofs that can be readily shared online with service providers requiring specific information, such as age verification.

Importantly, VCs enable selective disclosure, allowing users to share only the necessary details without revealing their entire identity. For example, one could verify their age without disclosing their name or date of birth, a feature known as selective disclosure.

Applications of Verified Credentials

One of the first applications of Verified Credentials within the ICP ecosystem is Proof of Unique Humanity (PoUH). This is implemented by the decentralized messaging app OpenChat.

PoUH leverages biometric data like facial recognition and fingerprints to verify a user’s identity and prevent the creation of multiple accounts. This approach tackles the pervasive issue of bots and fake accounts that manipulate online discourse and contribute to negativity on social media platforms.

A 2023 report from Queensland University of Technology highlighted the growing threat of bot-driven disinformation. Researchers identified networks of X (formerly Twitter) accounts spreading misinformation and manipulating public opinion. PoUH offers a promising solution to this concerning trend.

The challenge with the existing Proof of Humanity is that it can be easily manipulated. Users or bots can solve all sorts of proof of humanity tests and do it a hundred times over to get a hundred accounts.

In general, ICP permits developers to build and run services and enterprise systems directly on a public blockchain network with unprecedented scalability. While ICP was recently listed on Bithumb, the blockchain’s plans for the near future include interacting with the Ethereum network through its Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

ICP also intends to connect with the Solana (SOL) and Bitcoin (BTC) ecosystems in the long term.

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