Verafide Launches UK’s first Open Source Solution for Verifiable Credentials
Engineered by SETL, Verafide allows organisations, networks and individual users to simply and securely issue, hold, verify and share digital ID and credentials
London, 13 July 2021: Verafide, a verifiable credentials technology provider for issuers, holders and verifiers of digital credentials and ID, today announced the launch of their platform on the SETL enterprise blockchain. The open source solution enables any community, network or organisation to set up and maintain a digital credentials ecosystem.
Verafide offers a comprehensive tool set to issue, hold and verify digital credentials – a personal, secure digital certificate that proves a fact, a right or a qualification – combined with an integrated payment solution to allow organisations to commercialise their issuance. Use cases include a variety of scenarios from KYC and legal documentation for financial services firms, to proof of identity or age, to digital credentials to evidence of vaccinations or professional qualifications.
The computer code Verafide developed to issue, present and verify the digital credentials has been open sourced in compliance with Government best-practice policy for public sector use. The high performance SETL blockchain maintains issuer’s identities and public keys as well as other information that allows verification of the digital certificates.
The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the need for and development of verifiable credentials. As governments across the world debate vaccination passports, the NHS has created a digital credential to prove an individual’s vaccination status. Currently only available in the NHS app, Verafide sees this as one of many digital certificates that citizens will want to hold in their wallets.
In February of this year, the UK Government announced its ‘digital identity and attributes trust framework’ to further the development of a national digital ID. Its next iteration is due by the end of the summer, with legislation being considered later in the year. Elsewhere, in June the European Union announced proposals for its own “trusted and secure digital ID”, inviting Member States to establish a “common toolbox” by September 2022.
Verafide’s aim is to bring together digital identity and verified credentials into one digital wallet which puts the owner in full control of what happens with their personal information. Portable certificates can be passed between the holder and verifier like a digital passport, without the need to share details of interactions or transactions with the original ‘issuer’ of IDs, so personal information remains protected. What’s more, the enterprise version benefits from a built-in payments functionality that allows organisations or companies to commercialise and scale the issuance of certifications, from ID cards to driving licenses or travel documentation.
Joshua Daniel, Chief Engineer, Verafide, said: “Last summer we won a competition launched by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, and were awarded funding to realise our ambition to solve the issues around existing verifiable credentials data. Since then, we have been working tirelessly to build digital trust and resolve the inefficiencies in how credentials are created, shared and verified. Our aim is to work with natural trust infrastructures where issuers and holders of credentials will benefit from digitisation.”
Daniel added: “Covid has put the need for digital IDs firmly into the mainstream. We wanted to use our funding and technology not only commercially, but also to ‘give something back’ and help our country return to some sort of normality as soon as possible. This is why we have made our solution completely open source and one of our first projects is to work on digital credentials for Covid testing.”
Verafide is enjoying early interest and adoption and is already working with:
- The Linux Foundation Public Health and the Covid 19 Credentials Initiative – both developed to help public health authorities combat COVID-19 and future epidemics
- Pyser Testing – a UKAS and CQC accredited testing provider that carries out PCR and lateral flow tests. The company is an approved UK provider of Fit to Fly, Day 2, Day 5 and Day 8 testing services.
- The Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP), an open source platform for Foundational ID systems developed in India , with deployments in countries such as the Philippines and Morocco, and backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Anthony Culligan, Verafide Advisor and Chief Engineer at SETL, said: “We have received a lot of interest from business and government organisations. Secure, digital credentials are not just a novelty making the administrative parts of our lives easier, they are now absolutely vital to getting people back to work, back to travelling – be that for work or family reasons, all whilst protecting their privacy.”
Culligan added: “As with the evolution of money from paper to digital, identity and credentials will follow. We are proud to be at the forefront of innovation for verifiable credentials and actively involved in developing common industry standards. With a multitude of digital wallets and credentials offerings expected to come to market, ensuring interoperability across systems and the ability to integrate into existing infrastructures is more important than ever.”
Verafide’s core functionality is open source. Verafide offers an open source SDK for the developer community, and is compliant with the global W3C Verifiable Credentials Standard. Its enterprise solution is delivered as SaaS and includes a ‘payment-for-credential’ functionality. The Verafide App can be downloaded from the iTunes and Google app stores.
Culligan concluded: “We are delighted to have created the core software for Verafide and excited to be one of the key shareholders in this new venture.”
Verafide is engineered by SETL and hosted on SETL’s enterprise blockchain technology. SETL has a proven track record in delivering distributed ledger technology (DLT) based solutions for financial markets, asset management and payments. SETL’s DLT technology powers regulated financial market infrastructures that are active and operational, including the Central Securities Depository ID2S and the fund distribution platform IZNES. Most recently, SETL has successfully completed the world’s first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) live fund transaction in collaboration with Banque de France, using the SETL blockchain that powers the IZNES fund distribution platform.