How did Verifiable Credentials Change Ben's Life?
Benjamin Cox (Ben), a lawyer and a working partner at an up-and-coming law firm in New York City, had recently signed up for Verifiable Credentials (VCs) with a Self Sovereign Identity-provider and got all his important credentials stored in his digital wallet. And unknowingly, he set in motion some major changes in his life!
Of late, he had been feeling a sense of disillusionment in his life and work, and one fine day, he just packed his bags, and started driving to nowhere in particular.
12 hours later…..
Ben was still driving. He was somewhere in Georgia and he booked into a hotel and spent the night contemplating his future. The next day, instead of driving back to NYC, he kept going in the other direction.
He had finally taken the plunge! Though there were many uncertainties, he knew he could handle it all as he had the emotional strength and more importantly, he had his verifiable credentials that could help him anywhere.
He got behind the wheels and started driving again. By the end of the day, he reached Houston! That night, the Houston Rockets were taking on the New York Knicks, and for the first time, he cheered for Rockets as he wanted to break away from the shackles of his life in NYC and anything that even remotely connected him to this city.
The next day dawned and Ben decided to go further south and drove right past the Mexican border between El Paso and Juarez. When he was asked to show his ID, he quickly turned to the driver’s license verifiable credentials. All that he had to do was share the verifiable presentation from his digital wallet to the border authorities, who in turn, checked for its validity and authenticity. Since these verifiable credentials were tamper-proof, the authorities had no qualms about his identity or the authenticity of his VCs, and approved his entry. So, just like that, Ben breezed into Mexico.
The next morning, more driving! A couple of days later, he reached Cancun and decided to stay there for a few days.
While relaxing on the seaside one afternoon, he started feeling a bit nauseous, so he headed back to the hotel. As he was mulling over the possibilities, he realized he hadn’t been taking his regular meds for high blood pressure. He went to the local clinic to get a prescription for his restricted blood pressure drug. But the authorities there weren’t forthcoming to give the prescription, so Ben shared his medical condition verifiable credentials that proved his medical condition and his use of the drug. These VCs proved to be a life-saver as he was able to get a prescription for the restricted drug even in a different country!
A week later, he decided it was time to decide what he really wanted to do.
He had no clue what, but it was definitely not back to NYC and the firm. With such thoughts, he picked up the local paper, and his eyes fell on an advertisement for an English-speaking guide in the small town of Barra de Potosi.
With a smile, Ben drove down to Barra and met the hotel manager at the Laguna de Potosi, the only hotel in this town of about 400 residents. Since it was a tourist town where hundreds of Americans landed each year to enjoy the watersports, the hotel was looking for a guide to talk to them.
Though Ben was over-qualified and his weekly pay was a pittance compared to what he was earning at NYC, he accepted it with all his heart! But there was a problem! To employ him, the hotel had to submit his ID and some proof that made him eligible for this job.
Verifiable credentials came to Ben’s rescue again as he dug through his digital wallet to find an English teaching employment verifiable credential he had done many years ago when he was a sophomore in college. He shared the verifiable credentials of his first job with the local labor department, and the officer was able to verify it based on the schema. This was deemed to be sufficient for the job and Ben started his new career as an English guide.
A week later, it was time for his pay and the hotel wanted to pay him through a bank account to avoid tax penalties. So, Ben had to open a bank account. But the bank manager wanted a ton of documents, so Ben created a verifiable presentation that contained all the documents that the bank wanted and shared this presentation with the bank manager. In turn, the manager checked the identity of the issuer and the validity of the documents, and opened the bank account.
Ben settled into a life of peace, solitude, and freedom. His law firm had given up searching for him and had moved on. Ben lived the rest of his life at Barra de Potosi, the magical place where he truly found himself.
So, what do you think is the reason for Ben finding himself? A stroke of luck? Destiny?
The real reason is verifiable credentials as it came in handy every step of the way. He had complete control over his credentials and could share it with just the entities he wanted to. Also, he had no plan and it would’ve been impossible to move seamlessly across international borders without his VCs.
Think about it for a moment. No physical documents at all, but a simple and secure self-sovereign identity that Ben had complete control over. More importantly, look at the interoperability and flexibility as Ben could use them in different situations and across multiple platforms.
That’s the true power of VCs!
Do you think he could have changed his life so drastically without his VCs? What about your life? How can VCs help you? Imagine the endless possibilities it can create for people and the society at large.
This is undoubtedly the future — a world of secure and portable credentials that individuals can control completely.
Are you ready to be a part of this future?
Affinidi provides building blocks for an open and interoperable Self-Sovereign Identity ecosystem. Check out our developer portal for more informatio