How ICP's Walletless Solution Enhances Online Trust and Privacy

18 Jun 2024

Recently, a decentralized blockchain network, the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP), unveiled its Verified Credentials (VCs) solution at the Digital Identity unConference Europe (DICE) 2024 in Zurich, Switzerland. This walletless infrastructure aims to facilitate efficient and trustworthy sharing of personal data while maintaining user privacy and control.

Verified Credentials are digital representations of qualifications, achievements, or attributes that are cryptographically secured and portable. They are built on top of Internet Identity (II), a decentralized identity solution running on the Internet Computer blockchain. Internet Identity provides a robust authentication solution based on passkeys, which are more secure and convenient than traditional sign-in methods.

One of the key advantages of Verified Credentials is that they allow users to assign identity attributes to their Internet Identity without revealing their unique identifier to different applications. This feature, called selective disclosure, enables users to verify specific information, such as their age, without disclosing their name or date of birth. By putting users in control of their data sharing, Verified Credentials enhance online privacy and security.

Furthermore, Verified Credentials address the issue of dApp interoperability in a privacy-preserving manner. Internet Identity acts as a trusted intermediary between a Relying Party and an Issuer, using an alias to share credentials instead of the user's real principal. This approach prevents different applications from tracking users as they navigate the web.

One notable application of Verified Credentials within the ICP ecosystem is the Proof of Unique Humanity (PoUH), implemented by the decentralized on-chain messaging app OpenChat and developed by Decide AI. PoUH links a credential to biometric data, such as facial, finger, or palm print recognition, ensuring that users are human and possess only one account on a platform. This measure aims to combat the activity of bots and foster more virtuous discourse on social media by preventing users from piloting multiple online accounts or manipulating token farming or airdrops.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of Verified Credentials by the Internet Computer Protocol represents a significant step towards enhancing online trust and privacy. By providing a walletless solution that allows users to selectively disclose their identity attributes, ICP empowers individuals to maintain control over their personal data while engaging with various applications and services. The implementation of Proof of Unique Humanity (PoUH) is particularly noteworthy, as it addresses the long-standing issue of bots and fake accounts manipulating public discourse on social media platforms.

By linking credentials to biometric data, PoUH ensures that each user possesses only one account, thereby reducing the spread of disinformation and promoting more authentic interactions online. However, it is essential to consider the potential challenges and limitations associated with Verified Credentials and PoUH. For instance, the reliance on biometric data raises concerns about data privacy and security.

ICP must implement robust measures to protect users' sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access or misuse. Additionally, while PoUH aims to combat the activity of bots and fake accounts, it is important to acknowledge that determined individuals may still find ways to circumvent the system. Continuous monitoring and improvement of the verification process will be necessary to maintain the effectiveness of PoUH.

Overall, the introduction of Verified Credentials and Proof of Unique Humanity by the Internet Computer Protocol demonstrates a proactive approach to addressing the challenges of online trust and privacy. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, such innovations have the potential to reshape the way individuals interact with applications and services while maintaining control over their personal data. However, it is essential to remain vigilant and address any potential concerns to ensure the long-term success and adoption of these solutions.

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Vested Interest Disclosure: This author is an independent contributor publishing via our business blogging program. HackerNoon has reviewed the report for quality, but the claims herein belong to the author. #DYOR.