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Ecosystems

Exchanging credentials often requires many different participants to all communicate and collaborate. Aligning standards and incentives is challenging.

We've made it simple to create an ecosystem of participants to all exchange credentials.

Potential Scenarios

Industry groups, enterprises, and startups who are deploying this technology to multi-party ecosystems. Our focus on building for interoperability, hyper-scalability, and ease of use means you can get to market faster with a better product with Trinsic than any other way.

Trust ecosystems are networks of participants that can authenticate to and share data with one another. Trust ecosystems exist all around us, but most are analog and disaggregated. The first trust ecosystems to go digital were payments networks. Visa, MasterCard, etc. introduced a standard mechanism to allow consumers to make purchases with any merchant using credit from any bank. Visa created an enduring business while simultaneously unlocking value for all participants involved.

Credit card networks represent only one kind of trust ecosystem. A trust ecosystem at a minimum has the following 4 roles.

  • Provider - provides the tools and rules to the rest of the participants to ensure a healthy ecosystem, generally through a product experience that is sold to the other participants
  • Issuer - is the source of data that is shared throughout an ecosystem
  • Verifier - consumes data in an ecosystem
  • Holder - holds data, and is generally the subject of the data, in an ecosystem

Anatomy of a Trust Ecosystem

Before diving into the value provided by each participant, it’s helpful to cover how it works at a high level. You may dive deeper into any of these items by clicking into the respective pages. We’ll use the analogy of a payment network to conceptualize the purpose of each component.

Wallet - A place to securely store verifiable credentials.

Credential - W3C Verifiable Credentials that contain valuable data about a subject. These are signed and issued by an issuer.

Pass - A presentation of a verifiable credential that only includes the information required for use case.

Underlying Tech - All of the additional standardized technology Trinsic uses to build trust ecosystems.

Value of Trust Ecosystems to Participants

The first step to successfully building a trust ecosystem that can scale is to identify the value for each of the participants. Here we will elaborate on the value derived by each actor in an ecosystem and how Trinsic’s platform is optimized to help deliver it.

Providers

Providers typically already have, or are building, a product or platform to sell to the issuers and verifiers with the goal of creating a sustainable business.

Visa, for example, isn’t a currency, a bank, or a merchant. They sell the rails for transaction settlement to banks and merchants to enable the seamless transactions we all enjoy. By taking a small interchange fee, they capture value alongside the banks and merchants and have built a sustainable business.

Trinsic is the only company to offer a product tailored specifically for providers. That means instead of patching together various open source components meant for issuers or verifiers, Trinsic offers a product built from the ground-up to accommodate the unique needs of providers. Ultimately, that means providers using Trinsic get to market faster with better products.

Issuers

Issuers realize value when they extend or augment their existing business operations. By issuing the data they already have in verifiable credential form, they often can increase revenue, reduce verification costs, and improve brand presence.

When credit cards were in their infancy, banks began issuing cards because it allowed them to continue their existing business (giving credit) in a new way. Likewise, the issuers that get the most value from verifiable credentials are ones who already have data about people, and simply need to give it to them in a new way (e.g. medical labs who already give paper documents can now give digital form).

Trinsic’s platform is optimized to both reduce onboarding costs and add help issuers scale without increasing their costs

  • Before credit cards banks could offer various consumer loans

Holders

Holders acquire the most convenient way to prove something about themselves digitally, both in-person and online

  • Before credit cards, consumers needed to pay with paper. Paying with credit meant bespoke processes with each individual retailer (e.g. opening a tab at a bar, creating a Macy’s account, etc). Likewise today our digital identities are all siloed and separate, resulting in a myriad of problems for consumers.

Verifiers

Verifiers get instant, trusted authentication and verification without needing to maintain their own infrastructure

  • Before credit card networks like Visa, merchants needed to issue credit and manage collections in-house if they wanted customers who could buy on credit. Likewise, companies in virtually every industry have compliance, risk, and identity departments where they manage this in-house. Just as Visa turned electronic payments into a simple terminal installation for merchants, so too will trust ecosystems unlock the ability for verifiers of all kinds to focus on their true business without compromising on trust and security.

Like the internet itself, trust over IP represents a massive business opportunity for innovators in all industries. And like the internet itself, the vast majority of the value will be created at the application layer.

Authors: Michael Boyd