Verifiable Credentials are a digital representation of the physical credentials that we use in the world today. By W3C's own definition:
Verifiable Credentials are a new way to format attributes such that the credential includes a cryptographic proof where other people or institutions have attested to the validity of the attributes. Once this cryptographic attestation exists, holders of these credentials can choose to share them with other entities and services.
We believe Verifiable Credentials are valuable in any ecosystem where data attributes need to be exchanged between 3 independent entities in a trusted manner. Verifiable Credentials Trust Model is built on three pillars—issuers, holders, and verifiers. Together, these three pillars form the Trust Triangle.
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Issuers are organizations that are authorized to issue credentials. They attest to the fact that some attributes about a subject is accurate and then issue a credential attesting to that information. They are typically trusted authorities who want to ensure compliance and enforce standards like the DMV or US Government.
A holder is the owner of a credential. They can be individuals or organizations. They are usually trying to do something, but need some sort of credential to do it. They also need a place to store the credentials they already have and new ones they will acquire.
Verifiers are entities that receive a credential presented to them from a holder, confirm the credential comes from a trusted issuer, and then on the basis of that credential to perform a service or sell a good to the holder.
GlobaliD's SSI platform enables these 3 entities to interact with one another in a secure and trusted way.