International Technical Support: (EU): +44 (20) 80891215 & (US): +1 312 248 7781 |

What is Self-Sovereign Identity and why could it revolutionize digital identity management?

Share This:

TrustCloud | What is Self-Sovereign Identity and why could it revolutionize digital identity management?

Self-Sovereign Identity could tip the scales of power in favour of individuals, making them the true protagonists not only of their identity but also of corporate behaviour.

The preliminaries: What is SSI? 


o understand to what extent a concept like SSI could tip the scales of power in favour of individuals, it is necessary to define what SSI consists of a term that expands concurrently with the growth of digital identity wallets. 

Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) is a new paradigm in digital identity management that empowers individuals and organizations to have total control over their personal data. Instead of relying on centralized entities such as governments or companies to manage their identities, SSI allows users to:

  • Own your data: SSI is built on decentralised technologies like blockchain, which means identity data isn’t stored on a single server but distributed across a secure network. This gives users complete ownership of their data and allows them to control who has access to it. Data isn’t held by companies but only accessible to the user from their device.
  • Issue and verify your own credentials: With SSI, users can create and issue their own digital credentials, such as diplomas, birth certificates, or driving licences, cryptographically verifiable, making them secure and reliable.
  • Share your data selectively: SSI allows users to choose which data they want to share with each person or service. When presenting an ID card or any other “traditional” document of this kind, we often disclose unnecessary data. For example, when entering a venue restricted to adults or purchasing alcohol, the only data we’ll show is the date of birth, not the address or our parents’ names. All attributes are recognised by an issuer and ready to be verified when needed.

Our identity ceases to be a monolithic entity that defines us in a flat manner and becomes a range of digital attributes that function specifically in different contexts. SSI still has a wide margin for development, but it holds the potential to redefine how we interact online. Its applications include banking transactions, electronic signing of documents, or access to social networks and e-commerce without the need to create accounts and passwords. It’s the ideal and incorruptible way to vote electronically in elections and referendums, so it seems like a natural step for the digital wallet to reinforce corporate processes involving customer participation.

Experiences of participation and cooperation 

In order to enhance customer experience and build long-term relationships, companies develop practices of selective participation. Surveys, user testing, or focus groups aim to create products and services that cater to real needs. Through crowdsourcing or massive collaboration, for example, users are actively involved in the development of ideas and projects. However, these collaborations don’t relinquish all decision-making power to the users. The company always holds the upper hand and reserves the right to overshadow policies that it isn’t interested in showcasing and certainly won’t subject to any form of voting. 

Meeting customer expectations, creating relevant products, and working from a humanistic perspective that puts technology at the service of people should be the objectives of all companies, big and small. 

Cooperatives, an alternative form of doing business with a long tradition, are based on participation, solidarity, and social responsibility. Different types of cooperatives, whether in consumption, production, or savings, are structures based on the collective good, seeking to have an equal and positive impact. All members or cooperators share risks and benefits and work democratically, through voting, outside the highly hierarchical mechanisms of large companies. 

Today, we have technology on our side to take the cooperative experience to the next level and compel companies to act as fairly as possible, placing decisions in the hands of those who will ultimately consume or acquire their offerings. SSI and identity wallets are warning us that it’s necessary to redefine power relationships between companies and individuals. 

Self-Sovereign Property: accumulating voting rights through the digital wallet  

In the near future, digital wallets with SSI (Self-Sovereign Identity) will not only store our personal credentials but could also become a powerful tool for democratizing consumption. Imagine a scenario where every purchase we make not only delivers a product but also the ability to influence the direction of the companies we trust. This is Self-Sovereign Property (SSP). 

The logic is simple: if investors have the right to decide on the future of companies by investing capital, customers, who also invest their money, should have a similar right. Every time we spend money on a company, we could associate our identity with the transaction, thus accumulating “voting rights” based on our level of participation. Instead of being mere investors, this mechanism would turn us into active consumers with a voice and decision-making capacity: Active Consumers. 

How would it work in practice? If we are regular customers of a cosmetics giant and frequently purchase their products, we would have the ability to ask other consumers whether the company should conduct animal testing. Similarly, if we buy pharmaceutical products, we could inquire of other customers about stem cell experimentation and whether they agree or disagree with killing a baby and removing its heart while it is still alive to access these cells. The answer to these questions would not be based on individual opinion but on the collective vote of consumers, using their digital wallets as a tool for participation, leading to concrete actions. 

The possibilities of this system are endless. Imagine being able to decide on the working conditions of a clothing brand’s workers, the transparency in the supply chain of a supermarket, or the investment in research and development of a technology company. Customers, with their purchasing power and commitment, could drive real changes in companies, guiding them towards more responsible, ethical, and decidedly humanistic practices. 

The strong association of digital identities with transactions, protected in a decentralized environment, ensures maximum transparency in SSP processes. It’s the way in which the empowerment of citizens extends beyond being mere “consumers.” 

Each customer would have a sovereign economic stake depending on their consumption of the company’s products or services. This sovereign stake would be based on the volume of purchases, the frequency of interaction with the brand, participation in loyalty activities, and other relevant factors. Digital wallets with SSI would store each customer’s sovereign stake without granting access to governments or corporations, facilitating the voting process in company decisions. 

Responsible, active and co-owning consumers 

If investors have the right to decide on the strategic directions of a company by virtue of their financial investment, why not extend a similar privilege to customers? Thus, each transaction becomes an act of active participation in the company’s destiny. The Active Consumer or “custinvestor” is measured against traditional investors in terms of launching new products, changes in pricing policy, or selecting investment projects. SSP transforms companies into open platforms for debate where their practices are constantly audited. 

Digital wallets with SSI would not only be a tool for autonomous control of personal data by individuals but also a key to establishing SSP, which would open the door to a new consumption model, one in which customers are not mere spectators but actors with a voice and decision-making power. A future where social responsibility is not just a slogan or a unilateral strategy (easily manipulable and biased by globalists) but a tangible reality driven by the vote of ambassadors or Active Consumers. 

Contact our digital identity experts now 

Back To Top