Want to Know 25+ Ways of Using Verifiable Credentials?
Verifiable credentials are the next frontier in the world of digital identity and security. They address many of the concerns we face today with regards to our documents and identities.
But since it is a relatively new technology, there are gaps in connecting it to real-world scenarios, and his article aims to bridge this gap. The use-cases that we have come up with are some potential areas where VCs can be used.
It is aimed to give insights on the unlimited potential of VCs across every sphere of our life. Specifically, we hope that business leaders, entrepreneurs, and developers will use this article as a guide to create some breakthrough solutions that will benefit the society at large.
So, let’s jump into the use-cases and before that, a brief introduction on the three parties involved in VC-based transactions.
An issuer is an entity that is authorized to issue a credential. These issuers are typically government organizations, healthcare centers, banks and financial institutions, schools and universities, and possibly even organizations that provide proof of employment.
These entities use a combination of methods such as digital signatures and custom schemas to prove that they are competent to issue a credential.
A holder is someone who is the owner of the credential and has complete control over how it can be managed, with whom these credentials can be shared, or revoked. Holders are typically individuals or organizations.
Since the holder is the owner of the credential, the onus is on this entity to create a verifiable presentation, which is the compilation of data sent by one or more issuers in a machine-verifiable format that adheres to the existing standards.
A verifier is an entity that verifies a credential and ensures that it comes from a competent issuer, is tamper-proof, and is still relevant (not expired or revoked). A verifier takes the verifiable presentation from the holder to determine its authenticity.
Let’s know look at how these three entities figure in different use-cases.
VC Use-Case#1: Employment Endorsements
VCs can be used to verify current and past employment and is a safe way to share them with prospective employers and entities who need this information.
- Issuer — Employers, job search sites, payroll providers, and startups like GoodWorker that verify a user’s work experience.
- Holder — An individual who claims a certain work experience
- Verifier — Prospective employers who need this information to decide if the applicant is a right fit for the job.
VC Use-Case#2: Protecting your Driver’s License
Let’s take a peek into how you can apply, share, and safeguard your driver’s license through verifiable credentials.
- Issuer — A startup company that issues standard and interoperable driver license Verifiable Credential (VC) after validating the government-issued driver’s license
- Holder — An individual owning this interoperable driver license VC
- Verifier — A government authority or any other entity that wants to verify whether the license is valid and if it belongs to the holder.
VC Use-Case#3: Approving Loans
The cumbersome process of verifying and approving loan applications can be greatly simplified with VCs.
- Issuer — A startup fintech company that checks the credit score and financial background of the applicant, and accordingly, issues a VC.
- Holder — An individual applying for a loan
- Verifier — A financial company that verifies the holder’s background to decide whether the loan should be approved or not and the associated interest rate.
VC Use-Case#4: Verifying Educational Qualifications
Some educational institutions and even employers require applicants to possess certain educational qualifications such as a major in certain fields or a predefined qualifying percentage to become eligible for admissions into postgraduate or managerial courses.
- Issuer — An educational institution or a startup that checks the educational background of the holder and issues a VC accordingly
- Holder — An individual claiming to have a certain educational qualification or percentage.
- Verifier — An educational institution that checks if the holder meets the criteria for a course/degree.
VC Use-Case#5: Checking Eligibility for Vehicle Rentals
Many vehicle rental companies charge an hourly rental fee based on the creditworthiness of the renter, past rental history, and rate of accidents and offenses.
- Issuer — A startup company that collates data about the holder’s rental history, rate of road accidents and offenses, and creditworthiness, and issues a VC that encompasses these details
- Holder — An individual wanting to rent a vehicle
- Verifier — The vehicle renting company.
VC Use-Case#6: Accessing Medical Records
When medical records are in an easily shareable format, they can come in handy during emergencies.
- Issuer — A healthcare or startup company that collects all the medical records of an individual across different medical institutions and issues a VC containing all the necessary information
- Holder — An individual holding the medical record
- Verifier — A healthcare provider
VC Use-Case#7: Eliminating Frauds in Elections
Voting frauds are rampant where people impersonate others or falsify their age to cast vote. VCs have the potential to eliminate this fraud.
- Issuer — A startup company or a government entity like Digilocker that issues a VC containing an individual’s date of birth, identifying birthmark, age, nationality, visual proof like a tamper-proof photo, and a unique government ID.
- Holder — An individual who wishes to vote.
- Verifier — The election commission or election officials who verify the holder’s eligibility to vote.
VC Use-Case#8: Examining Visa Validity
The airport authorities examine the validity of a visa before allowing a traveler to enter a country, and VCs can streamline the process.
- Issuer — The embassy of a country or any other government entity that is responsible for issuing visas to travelers
- Holder — A traveler
- Verifier — The airport authorities, who check the credentials of the traveler and the validity of the visa.
VC Use-Case#9: Inspecting Tickets in Trains/Buses
Ticket inspectors check the validity of the travelers’ tickets to ensure that they have paid for the travel and there are no frauds involved. These tickets can be digital passes or VCs, so the user doesn’t have to carry a physical ticket or produce any PII.
- Issuer — The transportation company that is responsible for issuing tickets like the Indian Railways that establishes the validity/date of travel, name of the traveler, seat number, age, and a visual identification like a photo.
- Holder — A traveler
- Verifier — Ticket inspectors who want to ensure that the right traveler is occupying the right seat and the ticket is valid for that trip.
VC Use-Case#10: Setting up Health Checks
VCs can come in handy to allow patients to take up the scheduled health checkups with any healthcare provider. These credentials can tell any healthcare provider the current health status of the patients and the tests that are due, so the entire experience is seamless.
- Issuer — A startup company that consolidates the healthcare information, test schedules, and medical allergies and dependencies of individuals.
- Holder — A patient who has to take tests periodically.
- Verifier — The healthcare provider offering the tests.
VC Use-Case#11: Generating Boarding Pass
Airlines that generate boarding passes for travelers can use VCs to verify the identity of the traveler.
- Issuer — The airline company or its travel partner sites that issued the ticket.
- Holder — A traveler
- Verifier — The system or individual at the airport responsible for issuing a boarding pass after validating the name of the passenger, flight number, and date of travel.
VC Use-Case#12: COVID Tests for Safe Travel
COVID-19 tests have become mandatory for travelers to arrest the spread of the pandemic. And VCs can be used to safely examine these test results.
- Issuer — A startup like Safe Travel that consolidates the identity of the holder, his or her COVID test results, and the date of the test.
- Holder — A traveler/holder who has tested for COVID recently
- Verifier — The system or individual at the terminal responsible for ensuring that only patients with a negative COVID test result can board the airplane/train/bus.
VC Use-Case#13: Application for Utility Connections
People moving to a new city/home have to share their PII including address and unique ID number to get a new utility connection or change the name on the existing one. VCs can come in handy for this.
- Issuer — A startup that checks the rental/sale agreement to ensure that it is in the name of the holder, PII of the holder, and date of move-in. A VC containing a reference to these details is issued
- Holder — An entity that has moved to a new place.
- Verifier — The utility company
VC Use-Case#14: Age-related Services
Sometimes, an individual has to be over 18 years of age to avail of certain services like sky-diving, entry to a pub, etc, and VCs are a convenient way to check this criterion.
- Issuer — A startup that checks the holder’s identity and age and issues a VC that validates that the holder is over 18 years.
- Holder — An individual claiming that he or she is over 18 years of age
- Verifier — An adventure company, pub, or just about any service company that offers its services strictly to those over 18 years.
VC Use-Case#15: Application for Credit Cards
The process of issuing credit cards requires an extensive check of the applicant’s creditworthiness and financial background. Many times, the rate of interest depends on the credit score of the holder
- Issuer — A startup or a credit bureau service that collates an individual’s credit history and score.
- Holder — An applicant who wishes to own a credit card
- Verifier — The credit card company
VC Use-Case#16: Background Checks
Many companies require their prospective employers to go through a mandatory background check before they join the company, and VCs can streamline this process.
- Issuer — A startup or an HR company that handles background verification of prospective employees.
- Holder — A prospective employee
- Verifier — The company that has recruited the holder
VC Use-Case#17: Rental Passports
Renters would want to know the rental history, credit score, income details, and other pertinent information before renting a place to a tenant and VCs are a convenient way to share this information.
- Issuer — A startup that issues a VC after consolidating all the required information for rental verification
- Holder — A prospective tenant
- Verifier — A renter
VC Use-Case#18: Access to Premium Services
The creditworthiness of an individual is verified before giving him/her access to premium services like credit clubs.
- Issuer — A startup or a credit bureau that checks the credit score and financial background to generate a VC.
- Holder — An individual applying for these premium services
- Verifier — A company offering these services
VC Use-Case#19: Supermarket Shopping
The supermarket shopping data can be credentialed so that customers can post-pay their supermarket bills monthly
- Issuer — A startup that collates the shopping bills of a customer.
- Holder — Customer of a supermarket
- Verifier — The supermarket
VC Use-Case#20: Computing the Insurance Premiums
Insurance companies compute the cost of premiums based on the creditworthiness of an individual, past behavior like accidents or claims, missed payments, and more.
- Issuer — A startup that collates all this information
- Holder — An entity paying insurance premiums
- Verifier — Insurance companies that calculate the cost of insurance premiums
VC Use-Case#21: Using Death Certificates
Death certificates are necessary to prove that an individual is deceased and to help the legal heirs to access the wealth that’s due to them.
- Issuer — A startup or a government agency that checks the death certificate and determines the legal heirs of the deceased.
- Holder — A deceased individual or the legal heirs of the deceased
- Verifier — Insurance, financial, and wealth management companies
VC Use-Case#22: Making Disability Claims
Workers who were injured while carrying out the normal activities of their job are eligible for disability claims, but over the years there has been a lot of litigation in this area. VCs can bring down this processing time
- Issuer — A startup company that gathers details of an individual’s nature of accident at work, hospital records that verify the same, date of accident, and identity of the individual.
- Holder — An injured worker who is making the disability claim
- Verifier — The employer of the injured worker, insurance companies, and lawyers.
VC Use-Case#23: Driving Offences
Drivers who commit repeat offenses are levied a heavy penalty while first-time offenders are allowed to get away with minor punishments or sometimes just a warning, depending on the nature of the road offense.
- Issuer — A startup company that brings together an individual’s driver’s license, past driving offenses, tickets and penalties, date of occurrence, and other relevant information.
- Holder — A driver
- Verifier — Police, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and any other government or legal entity responsible for handling driving offenses.
VC Use-Case#24: Loyalty Programs
VCs can make it easy to track an individual’s loyalty program memberships, points earned, balance available, eligibility of the individual, and more.
- Issuer — A startup company that collates the loyalty points of an individual across a specific organization and ties it to the identity of the individual to eliminate fraud.
- Holder — An individual who is a part of a loyalty program
- Verifier — A store, service, or partner company where the loyalty points can be used.
VC Use-Case#25: Selling/Buying a Property
Buyers and sellers don’t necessarily have to know each other and VCs can help to create mutual trust without revealing personal information.
- Issuer — A startup or a real estate company that creates VCs for both buyers and sellers. Information for the buyer would include whether that entity owns the property in question and is at the location where it is claimed to be. In the case of a seller, the VCs can give information about the credibility of the seller and possible financial ability.
- Holder — A prospective buyer/seller
- Verifier — A buyer or seller. It can also be a real estate agent or company.
VC Use-Case#26: B2B Trade
In a global marketplace, buyers and suppliers can be perfect strangers who come together for trade, and VCs can help to create trust between them.
- Issuer — A startup company like Trustana that checks the credentials of buyers and suppliers and supports through their end-to-end journey.
- Holder — A prospective buyer/supplier
- Verifier — A buyer or supplier.
VC Use-Case#27: Social Volunteering
Often, people who want to volunteer are unable to fully gratify their efforts because there is no established medium to prove that the money/efforts of volunteers directly reach the intended recipients. VCs can create a bridge between volunteers who are ready to help and those who need it the most.
- Issuer — A startup that collates information about an individual such as whether he or she is below a threshold annual income, live in a location impacted by natural/manmade disasters, and more.
- Holder — The individual who needs help
- Verifier — A volunteer who is ready to help holders who meet certain criteria such as income levels.
VC Use-Case#28: Gaming Competitions
VCs can make it easy for gaming competition hosts to determine the winner of a competition. The issuer can send the time or the level that a gamer has completed and using this information, the winner can be determined.
- Issuer — A gaming company that issues the time taken by a gamer to complete a particular level/game.
- Holder — The gamer
- Verifier — The host of a gaming competition who uses this VC to determine the winner of the competition.
VC Use-Case#29: Refugee Status
Many times, refugees fleeing a country due to war or natural disasters may not have the paper documents to identify themselves, and VCs can be a great option here, especially to apply for asylum or refugee status in other countries.
- Issuer — The government of a country that issues credentials needed to identify an individual
- Holder — An individual applying for asylum
- Verifier — The government of the country that’s processing the application to grant asylum.
VC Use-Case#30: Government Programs
Government and social programs need the right information to ensure that the most needy get the assistance they need and VCs can make it easy to check if an individual applying for a program or grant meets the criteria laid down for that particular program.
- Issuer — A startup company that collates the different qualifying criteria for programs and issues a VC.
- Holder — An individual applying for government programs and grants
- Verifier — The government processing the application can use the VCs to determine eligibility for it.
We hope these real-world use cases give you an idea of the vast possibilities of VCs.
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