Decentralized identity (DID) challenges some core assumptions about how online authentication works.  In particular, the idea that a third-party authority is required to manage the sensitive data that comprises identity.  DID holds out the promise of reducing reliance on such authority and returning some degree of control of the data to the data’s owner, with possible privacy and accessibility boons.

Traditionally, digital identity is maintained by organizations trusted to secure that information in their datastores.  This model has, over time, revealed itself to be subject to several shortcomings.  These shortcomings can be overviewed as follows:

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