How Blockchain Could Change The Management of Identities Part 7

Types of claims and private ledgers on Sovrin blockchain


For these reasons, companies have to hire human resources professionals who have to learn and master behavioral techniques, invest in background checks and perform multiple reference checks.

None of this would be needed on a blockchain network because of the immutability of the blockchain technology. Once someone creates a resume on a blockchain network, the technical term for it would be “makes a claim about historical facts and skills,” the claim would become immutable and the entity making the claim will not be able to erase it in the future.

There could be a mechanism that, for example, allows employers to see if potential applicants have made multiple false claims in the past.


Types of claims

A self-sovereign identity blockchain such as Sovrin can have several types of claims. The first type of claim is that a person or an entity makes on its own. For example, a person may choose a name he or she wants to use. This is a self-asserted claim that does not require verification.

The second type of claim is a verifiable claim. Verifiable claims may include past employment or a claim about the right to drive. With verifiable claims, there’s always an independent party that can sign a claim. For example, an employer from the past can sign a claim about employment experience. The local government can validate the claim about having a valid driver license. All claims on the Sovrin blockchain are specific to an identity and its owner and can either be public or private. For example, a bank may have a record with a public attribute showing its physical location, the number of the bank’s license and so on. This information is not sensitive, so it can be a part of the ledger that is fully transparent and available to anyone. Anyone can access the information about the bank’s address and validate that the address is true. Validation on Sovrin doesn’t just occur once. Multiple people and entities can perform multiple validations of the same parameter, raising trust in its legitimacy. This legitimacy and social proof are critical for building the reputation of entities in the modern world.


Private ledgers on the Sovrin blockchain

Encrypted private attributes do not usually become a part of the public Sovrin ledger for security reasons. While it is possible to store information on a public blockchain in a secure way, not storing it there is still safer because blockchain is relatively new technology and theoretically speaking quantum computers could hack blockchain. For this reasons, on the Sovrin network private attributes become a part of a user’s private ledger.

While users can have private ledgers, the goal of such ledgers is still the same as the goal of public ledgers: to have immutable verifiable information on them. For this reason, whenever private ledgers get new information added to them, this information is sealed with cryptography hashes and the hashes go on the main blockchain. The hashes on the public blockchain are called anchors and a user can generate proofs that events have occurred at particular dates and times without disclosing the contents of the events.

As explained before, cryptography hashes only work one way, meaning that if you have information, you can generate its unique hash. You can then use the hash to make sure that a different party has the same information, but you can’t recreate the information if all you have is its hash.

A user of the Sovrin blockchain can have a private ledger on a mobile device or in a browser of a computer.

Private ledgers can be useful in a variety of ways, from proving to employers that the job history of an applicant is actually true and verified to making records about daily tasks and chores, such as dropping a suit at a dry cleaners. Many of these events could then serve as proof for smart contracts. For example, if a dry cleaning business loses the suit, a smart contract could automatically initiate a claim and start a process with an insurance company. The record on the blockchain would then serve as an undisputable proof that the event actually did happen.