An introduction to Credentials.

A credential is a qualification, achievement, quality, or piece of information about an entity’s background, typically used to indicate suitability. A credential could include information such as a name, home address, government ID, professional license, or university degree. The use of credentials to demonstrate capability, membership, status, and minimum legal requirements is a practice as old as society itself. The potential use cases are innumerable, but common important examples are represented here in the domains of:

  • Education – where academic credentials and co-curricular activities are recognized and exchanged among learners, institutions, employers or consumers
  • Workplace – where an applicant’s certified skill or license is a condition for employment, professional development and promotability  
  • Civil Society – where access to social benefits and contracts may be based on verifiable conditions such as marital status
  • Payments – where the legal right to purchase a product depends on the verifiable age or location of the buyer
  • Identity – where an entity presents credentials to prove their identity or qualification
  • Ownership – where an entity presents proof of ownership of a particular asset or a right to perform specific operations against a resource. Examples are ownership of securities that entitles the entity to dividend payments or the authority to transact on an account.

Credentials is the subject of work carried out via W3C where a Credentials Community Group was established, and continues to develop linked-data compatible solutions, notably including Decentralised IDentifiers, which supply the means for 3rd party verifiable claims, or credentials, to be protocol independent.

Commerce and Credentials

The intended design paradigm for credentials is intended to supply the means to resolve a solution, by way of technological embodiment, how it is that socio economic participation may in-turn form economic relations.  In this way it is envisaged that the operation of a group may be entirely made manageable online.  The form of how these claims are rendered in some examples, such as those used by IMS Global,  make use of linked-data, which means the machine-readable information embedded in them can be used.

Increasingly; the means in which to interact with government is being made available via API. In-so-doing, the means in which a ‘legal personality’ may be entirely managed by way of a series of online services, made useful by cryptographically enhanced ledgers; makes possible the means in which to form comprehensive means in which to manage the interactions of humans and their ‘creative works’, with one or more legal personality (‘persona ficta’); and that in so doing, new ‘emergent’ opportunities (and challenges) are then able to evolve.  

Whilst I personally have a particular regard for the production of new formats that help to improve social and philanthropic works of public benefit; in addition to the means in which to render service for the needs of individuals, in my works to realise these tools; now therefore, an array of enterprise is now made possible in a manner that was not possible before. The simple foundation to all such things is the means in which to design the foundations in which the electronic extension to personhood; be made by design, to be of primary custodianship to that same person.   

The means in which a ‘corporation’ (group) may thereafter form significantly improved management systems flows from this foundation as the formation and management of ‘their own’ ‘proprietary inforg’; can then built upon environments that performs an array of self-archiving functions, rendered in a form consistent with the use of ‘CoolURIs’, where human knowledge and systems of societal governance in a fault-tolerant, broader infosphere; makes use of decentralised semantic notations and the pragmatics of inter-networking relations as pertains to all systems of human governance.