What does “self-sovereign” mean?

It means that you hold your credentials. In the real world you hold your credentials in your wallet, or in your home. So you have sovereignty over them. But in the digital world you don’t. For example, if you want to register with a social media platform, you choose a username and password. And the platform checks to make sure that the username isn’t already taken and that your password has enough numbers or letters. And if everything is okay, this is now your username and your password and you’ve got an identifier. But you don’t have your credentials – the platform does.

And then you go on the platform and you like certain things and maybe post a comment or two. And depending on the platform, you can add photos, or university status, and a passport or location, and the identity is growing. And you can link other things to it. These are all your credentials. This is your behavior, and this aggregates there – with the platform, not with you.

KILT wants to change that. With KILT you have your digital credentials. You keep them in your wallet and if someone asks for your credential – for example, your driving license – you can send it to them. And this also affects anonymity because when you have sovereignty over your credentials then you can choose what you show to people and how much of it you want to reveal. And a blockchain-based system allows you to do that.