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Decentralized Identifier Tooling

by Manu Sporny and Matt Collier, Digital Bazaar

Introduction

In order for Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) to proliferate, tooling is necessary. We should build this tooling as a community to reduce duplicated effort. The tooling that we create should first be targeted at developers so that they can easily integrate DIDs into their projects. Once we have built an acceptable number of low-level libraries and tools, we can move on to more customer-facing technologies.

Since there will be several ledgers that support DIDs, it is imperative that we create a common set of tools and libraries for managing DIDs. It is expected that these tools will use a driver or plugin-based architecture. This approach will enable the general tool to be universal and have a well-known feature set with additions to the tool provided by developers for each ledger the tool supports.

did-client

Digital Bazaar offers the first sort of this tool, which is a command-line utility for creating, retrieving, and updating DID Documents across multiple ledgers. A demonstration video of the tool, as well as an explanation of how it works, can be viewed here:

did-client Demo Video

did-client Source Code

The did-client source code is available on Github:

did-client Github Repository

The current client supports the creation of Testnet DIDs on the Veres One ledger as well as the retrieval of those DIDs from the Testnet. You can try the tool out by doing the following commands on a system that has node.js and a C++ compiler installed:

npm install did-client
cd node_modules/did-client
./did create

To download the source and install the client:

git clone https://github.com/digitalbazaar/did-client.git
cd did-client
npm install
./did create

Once you have created a DID, you can retrieve it from the ledger doing this command:

./did get <DID>

There are plans to support the following other commands and features:

  • Adding, rotating, and removing authentication credentials
  • Adding and removing authorization capability descriptions
  • Adding and removing service descriptions
  • Checking the validity of a DID (deep blockchain check)

Collaboration

We are seeking individuals at this Rebooting Web of Trust event to coordinate on how this tool should be built, what features it should have, and to recruit implementers to write plugins for their favorite DID-supporting ledgers.

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