Decentralized Identity: A Conversation With Hypersign’s Vikram Bhushan
What's your background? How did you get involved in crypto/blockchain?
VB: We are three co-founders so we all have different stories but what is common for all of us is that during 2014 - 16 we all got involved with bitcoin. Then, my brother Vishwas and I started taking part in EthIndia hackathons. That’s where the Hypersign project was evolved from.
What value does your company bring to users?
VB: Our company is focused on giving control of user data back to users where they decide how they want to store their personal data and where they want to share and to what extent. User data protection and privacy have been our top priorities.
Web 3.0 is all about building a product that is user-centric and Hypersign wants to bring identity and access management services for the web 3.0.
Where do you see your company five years from now?
VB: In the near future, Hypersign - will be what we like to call a “Service Provider”, which is like present-day telecommunication service providers. Hypersign will evolve into the next generation of identity service providers where users will be able to store their personal data securely and no one will have access to this data unless it is authorized by the owners of the data. The users will control who gets access to their data and for how long and will know exactly how their personal data is being used and for what.
With $HID as a progressive multi-utility token for the whole Hyper ecosystem, it will evolve into a decentralized identity and access management protocol giving a SIMPLE & [SECURE] access to the leading DeFi and CeFi protocols.
As a user:
- You could send a request to revoke to the service provider.
- You could log-in without passwords on websites, so you do not need to remember passwords.
- You can sign consent for transactions in centralized banks, hence dependency of OTP’s could be removed.
- Service Providers might not need phone numbers in the future; they could simply use DID’s on the Hypersign network to push Notify. This will improve user privacy drastically.
And all these boil down to one thing: building an identity system that is privacy-focused and getting the end-user ready for the web 3.0.
What are the most common misconceptions you hear about decentralized identity?
VB: The most common misconception about decentralized identity is that many businesses and governments think it’s about taking control out of their hands and giving it solely to the end-user by diminishing their role which is certainly not the case. The decentralized identity is an improved framework for digital identities where all actors are still the same but they work in a much better way now.
For example, one misconception is self-attested credentials like I am providing identity proof signed by me but proof of identity or other attributes are exactly the opposite: they must come from third parties and not the identity owner. This means that self-attested credentials, including consent, still rely indirectly on third-party credentials.
And that’s what decentralized identity provides a framework for 3rd parties to verify credentials.
Another myth is it attempts to reduce the government’s power over an identity owner. But in reality, for the decentralized identity systems to work you need issuers to be part of the ecosystem. And the government is one of the main issuers so we would perhaps start issuing a cryptographically signed digital copy of our government certificates.
What's next for decentralized identity in 2021?
VB: DIF held its semiannual “Face-to-Face” community’ event in January where the discussions were around the topics like interoperability, secure data storage, universal resolver, identity hub, etc. So upcoming years are going to be more towards solving real-world challenges that SSI is facing as far as adoption is concerned.
Also since 2017, the DID has evolved a lot so now Asian countries like India, Vietnam are going to start using the standard, we will see a lot of use of DID’s and VC’s being incorporated in Centralized Finance. Because for consent management the current OTP infrastructure is really not working.
I feel Microsoft announcing to remove passwords from their existing ecosystem is going to be a driving factor as well.