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5 ways decentralization is changing our approach to identification

Flashbacks  •  
Apr 16, 2019

The range of applications for decentralized identity is vast — from government services, to e-commerce, mobility, housing, healthcare, and more — and there are countless ways we can or will be able to use our self-owned, self-managed, self-sovereign personal data. Why should we?

Today’s digital environment puts our identities at tremendous risk.

Modern consumer data breaches expose sensitive information about consumers in mass quantities, and regular internet users combat intrusive online advertising and malicious redirects that target their data. What makes these conditions even worse for our digital identities is the climate of non-disclosure and misinformation on how our data is being used.

Blockchain technology makes the next generation of identity management possible: data can be created, stored and shared autonomously, by the identity holder. This is a model that works for people, IoT devices, and companies. With many practitioners in the space exploring new ways of enabling blockchain-enabled identities, decentralized identities, or self sovereign identities, we took the opportunity to canvas a wide breadth of these use cases as part of the first DWebBLN meetup in the newly launched series.

Around thirty people joined us at Betahaus Berlin on April 4th to hear from the passionate people powering decentralized identity solutions, representing use cases from egovernment, mobility, ecommerce, international development, and supply chains. Below you can watch their presentations and demos, read up on the incredible work they’re doing, and pose your questions in the comments.


Jörg Rückrieman from Bundesdruckerei recently went home with first prize from the T-Labs Berlin Hackathon for his work on PiDee — an e-ID built on Raspberry Pi capable of interacting with passport and ID card credentials. Read more on this solution here.

Jörg Rückrieman presents an eID use case for SSI


Alexander Manecke and Benjamin Bauer from Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) took the opportunity to present the Magenta Scooter— an innovation in e-mobility that allows users to ride share while using their decentralized digital IDs and even unlock the scooter and issue payments using just their mobile phones. In addition to Alexander and Benjamin’s presentation, you can also watch the scooter in action as presented by John Calian during MWC 2019.

Alexander Manecke and Benjamin Bauer present Magenta Scooter during the April 4 DWebBLN meetup
T-Labs on the main stage at MWC19


Stefan Adolf works with Turbine Kreuzberg but is also one of the minds behind Buy By ID (the self-sovereign identity use case in an ecommerce), a tool to enable customers to check out with the simple click of a “submit my data” button. Read more on Buy By ID here.

Stefan Adolf presents Buy By ID ecommerce use case for decentralized single sign on (SSO)

International Development

Viktor Peter at GIZ Blockchain Lab describes ways that blockchain is being used to provide verifiable credentials to underserved populations around the world. Decentralized IDs are one self-sovereign identity use case area that the Lab is exploring blockchain for good.

Viktor Peter elaborates on blockchain and identity in international development

Supply Chains

Ricardo Garcia of ScanTrust concluded the event by showing off a demo for a blockchain-backed supply chain traceability system for coffee using Hyperledger and unique barcodes created by Scantrust. Read up on the project here. You can also take a look at Ricardo’s demo from the IPDB Hackathon in November, which presents the same system using a decentralized document storage provider (IPDB). In fact, this was the winning idea from this hackathon.

Ricardo Garcia demos a blockchain-backed supply chain use case
Watch the same demo in a fully decentralized system (public blockchain) from the IPDB Hackathon

Join the conversation

To attend the next DWebBLN meetup, you are encouraged to join the group.

If you are a designer, a parallel event series happening in Berlin might be of interest to you – DWebDesign. Take a look at a recap from the most recent event that took place in March, plus our motivation for hosting it.