The next topic. So to say is gonna be a track that looks at decentralized ecosystem, decentralized identity, ecosystems, the development of such an ecosystem across the world. We have Miguel Nati who spoke earlier from IOT speaking live from London, formerly of Europe. And we have John again, joining us from Australia and we also have failure who can chip in coming in from the state. So we have, I would say three different continents. So yeah, it's gonna be a very interesting discussion. Another reminder, please feel free to indulge in to our audience members, to our audience. Please feel free to use the app to ask your questions for those on site. You can raise your hands and I could just get a mic and yeah, you can, you can do that too, but yeah, it's best to use the app, so let's make it as insightful a conversation as possible.
And yeah, let's have all our questions answered essentially. So, yep. Let's get the panelists on stage. So Michael, John, welcome again. And, yep. So we are gonna be talking about the state of decentralized identity as such and before we look at the development of the ecosystem, I think it's very important to understand your own introduction to the, to the field. So to say, so rather than doing the traditional intro, why not talk about how you actually got in to the field of the identity and what actually Corey hooked onto this space? We can start with John perhaps and then Michael could follow.
Sure. Thank you very much. So my introduction started in a pub in Gilford in the UK over a couple of pints of beer with a guy called Andy Tobin. Who's also presenting at this conference I believe, right? And he, he answered several questions. I was asking, was catching up. I've known him for years. And, and he explained he is working for this company called Ebony. And they'd written on this whole bunch of software and they'd given it all away for free. And I said, you did what he said. Yeah. We gave it away for free the Linux foundation to start forming this thing under Hyperledger for a project Indy. And I said, would you do that for, and he started explaining the story now, as he explained the story, I got more and more interested when I left and came back to Australia. I did some more research.
Then eventually I set up a, a meet sort of a flying trip, literally for Andy to come over to Australia and meet about 14 different companies. And talk about SSI with them about the end of 2017. And I've kind of been Besto with it ever since for me, I guess it combined a bunch of interests. I've had almost from a philosophical social point of view, as much as a, a, a love of new emerging technologies. It's got a wonderful blend of, of kind of righteousness, right technology, a right time, right. Approach to things you can build very elegant and very appropriate systems out of it if you do it the right way. So for me, it was a natural fit.
Yeah. No, first of all, it's funny that John a PAing Gilford they've been living in Gil for the, for 10 years. And I was, I know Andy and I also also in initiated of an internet of things, meet uping for I'm wondering if yeah. Cross our path. I started, yeah. In the context of that internet of things that I actually started for a European project, I was living in the university of salary where actually was working as a senior researcher back in the days, the project was called societal and came at the end of my, let's say progress toward the, what is called internet of things now was called wireless sensor network. At the time I got my, my PhD and I start from the very low level of making device talking and sensing environment, and eventually sensing also our data up to go and try to see what knowledge this data brings and up to understand, okay.
Whether you know, this data, very person. So we need to find different way and different pattern to secure this data, give Porwal to people around this data. There was not yet the concept of the centralized identities back then, but then I left university academic. I start to work with organization in London, digital that was mainly focusing on innovation, around personal data. And there, I discovered the, my data movement and I start to discover the role of the centralized identities even before it was very well linked to, to the let's say ledger and the upcoming ledger technology, blockchain technology was very early stage. It was again based on, on Ethereum. Yeah. There are other platform now. So it was back in 2015 that, that I start to investigate. So we really to regain count over, over our data in light of the, my data movement itself. So yeah. And since there then start to combine with other technology and yeah, join a Iotta one of the main, let's say yeah. Point that we really think that identity can also move from personal identity and the next level will be object identities and bringing back to the, my initial love for internet and things.
Right. Yeah. Fascinating there, fascinating stuff. So for those of you who don't know, John actually has a brilliant video on YouTube explaining SSI and decentralized identity to executives. It's an incredible watch. And I highly recommend all of you all to check it out and speaking about organizations and the understanding of decentralized identity, how far do organizations and management. So to say, understand the concept of decentralized identity in relation to putting the user at the forefront perhaps first, and then you could yeah. Ask John how things have evolved since that video for that matter.
Yeah. I mean, we have to move away now from this well-established sentiment that customer data are, let's say the, the gold of new of new economy, or let's say the advertisement that, that drives internet. So it's not, it's not that easy. And like, like I said, it's, it takes time. It takes building by collaboration. So it's actually one of this, this project now that I mentioned in where we, we start to explore this collaborative approach. So we, we, we recognize that for instance, in this case, banks have a lot of information, but banks are not identity provided themselves. So it's about reinventing business. And first of all, prove the value that there is new way of doing, let's say business or empowering others. That's, that's the first thing. And secondly, is that also we have to educate user, educate user, understand the value of the data and these two have to come together. And one way we see this can be the risk is to do this collaboration in a, in a public funding and European funding, but can be, can be anything else. So I think it still take time because you need to invent a bit of business model and bit opportunity. But I think we are getting there,
I think that's right. I think, I think there's that phrase there that says that the future is here. It's just unevenly distributed. I think the understanding of decentralized identity and what benefits it might bring is unevenly distributed right now. So working here in Australia, there's a great organization. The Australian red cross has a, a, a, a person called Amanda Robinson heads up their social innovation area. And she also heads up human tech and they've built an app on SSI principles about using the port Ethereum basis to, to help their aid workers be recognized and, and move from one place. Another that's been adopted by rated and others as well. So those organizations that are naturally going to kind of understand a more decentralized architecture are more kind of flexible or organic kind of approach. Whereas if you look at established entities and for banks, I'll offer the, the counter argument we like to give to banks the provocative point of view.
Cause we do like to make people think about things occasionally. And the argument for bank would be, I know this is true for all banks in Australia. I'm sure it's pretty well true for all banks in the world. Actually for the last 15 to maybe 20 years, they've been running a project called something like single customer view. And what they've been doing is across all their virtual silos of products that they have as a bank from credit card to mortgages, to other forms of loans and business accounts and stuff, they try to identify the same person across each of these silos because each time somebody sign up, they offer their current name, their current address and other details. And they have these big data pools and collaborations, and they're trying, and it costs millions of dollars a year and they never finish. This project will never finish.
It will never achieve its goals. And our argument to them is why don't you just ask the customer, why don't you just give that data to the customer about the accounts they have with you, and then say to the customer, dear Mr. Or Mrs. Customer, we'd like to, we think you have a lot of our products, which is fantastic. We love that. And we'd love to be able to sort of understand 'em a bit better and then give you a better service. So what we're gonna do is give you these account credentials that prove you have accounts with us in various forms. And we're gonna ask you to give us the data when we need to know, like what's your current home address rather than try and scroll away across databases and try and make some sense of it. So what we're trying to do is turn on the head team of people who've been working for years on a multimillion dollar project that never finishes and saying, that's just completely broken think differently, but it's a very, that's a very provocative and challenging point of view, so that ain't gonna happen overnight, but it will happen.
I'm sure it will happen.
Yeah, I hope so. Fingers crossed, I mean, this element of think differently is a bit of a contentious issues, particularly with traditional industries, such as say banking or healthcare. So yeah, my next question would be, you know, what are some of the, the business models and applications that that could be made that could be me made possible by decentralized identity? Of course we saw Michael run through a wide range of use cases, but more specifically, why do you think now is the time for such, for such a thing to take place, John
Let's, let's go for the, the screening, the obvious elephant in the RO to talk about COVID 19 and vaccination credentials. So, so those those offer know Michaela had as an example in his, with the green pass, that a really powerful argument for a decentralized approach to that kind of verification, because it offers a privacy enhancing robust way of proving something. So I can prove that I have been double vaccinated, or I can prove if I need to what vaccine I received that was actually necessary. I can prove various levels of information and only the, the verifying party needs to know I'm exchanging this, this data with them. I don't need the issuer to know that it's happening. It's a nice privacy preserving thing. And it has a natural then extension to other forms of health data around the individual. So if I go to a consultant to get a second opinion, I should be able to present the data to them that that has been I've been in since party to scans or, or tests or other things. So I think the COVID 19, which is a dreadful pandemic for all of us around the world is, is showing a kind of forcing us to think differently about stuff. And, and one of is that obviously the vaccination credential,
Right. Would you like to add something?
Yeah, yeah. I, like I said before in the, the slides, there are, there is a convergence of few or there more widely available technologies now that can be used as a, as a layer of trust. So, and this brings us also to, to, to understand what, at some point we have the level of interoperability, but at least we don't need to see one, let's say technology ruling the world of providing this, this task layer that the centralized identity requires that also offer the scalability and the fit for purposes for different use case that we're gonna see. So definitely that availability now of technology and variety of technology, as well as standards that came from WC that can help to bring that interoperability level. These are probably most advanced now than before government are looking to that. Well, like echoing a bit, John as well. So I think the main, the main need need to come from, from users, understanding the value of their data and being able and be to control their data, to know what does it mean.
And definitely, I would say the pandemic and all this green paths as well. Let's, let's say give a bit of more responsibility to end user, to customer, to people, to, to, to, to leverage a bit. So there is all now this discussion about, I don't want to use my green pass or things like that. So the next level to understand the results also more privacy way to use and present green pass. So people are getting that. So this, I think is the most important thing that need to be driven by, by the needs of, of, of who we actually will be using the identity as well. So, and we are at that conjunction now that will make this happen. So other technology tower also useful and now emerging and becoming more well spread is still proof for instance. So all of this together is now getting the right momentum, but together with understanding the real business needs as well for, for the issuers, so will be very important to, to do now.
Right? So speaking about momentum, you know, more often not, we all know that people organizations are reactive rather than proactive. And you know, some people say the various data breaches that we've had are a possible forcing function for decentralized identity to gain mainstream adoption. So to say, how pleased or, or what's your take on the rate of development when it comes to adoption of decentralized identity and the rollout of initiatives yeah. Across the ecosystem, do you think things are gonna move in quicker? Do you think we need an actual forcing function for such a thing to do so? And if so, what would that be? What would it take to, to get decentralized identity mainstream in a sense that it is solely a part of identity and we don't need to actually categorize or classify it as SSI or decentralized identity where it just becomes, you know, the new normal, as most commonly said, Kellay perhaps you,
Yeah. I would say I, I need to repeat a bit myself, but I think, yeah, there is, there is this need for people to understand, but there is also probably some top down. So I think what European commission is doing in, in building European blockchain service infrastructure, that would also satisfy this need, thinking about the network in order to be not anymore, let's say centralized network where different members that contribute, know that have to all talk each other, but rely on the centralized infrastructure for regulation, for people having and be able to rely on secure digital wallet. So I think this, this will be the driver that will help also that adoption, but in terms of, yeah, technology, I think we probably would see different ways of responding to these needs of empowering people and give the centralize and to people. So for that, yeah, we can really say who actually, what actually will be the solution technology adopted. So like you said, it will take few more years in my opinion, to become the fat standard let's say, but I think please start to move in that direction for also government to support this and get more aligned.
I, I echo much of what was saying. I think the, there are green Schutze in a sense of appearing in Australia, which is which hasn't been a leader, to be honest in, in verifiable credentials, in the SSI, but the we've been working with a government entity here in Australia, one, the state governments who's looking at. And in fact, they're embedding literally w WC verified credentials into their new approach to providing services to their citizens. So that's awesome. And a great event. And we, when we set up the little company, we, we liken it, cuz we're in Australia to surfing where you're sitting on the outside of the reef and you're waiting for the wave to come along. You know, there's gonna be a really big wave coming in. You're just hoping you can paddle faster when it comes to catch it properly. And I think that's, what's gonna happen with SSI. Or as you rightly say, though, it's probably gonna be core decentralized into or verifiable potentials or verifiable data. But basically these type of technologies are very, very much accelerating in the number of conversations I have with people who all now already get it, who are building it in beginning to use it operationally. I it's coming and it's coming quite fast. I think now
Amazing stuff. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's, it's brilliant to see the work that the two of you and, and many of you all in this room here today are, are, are putting in to actually, you know, make this concept a reality and gain global adoption and yep. On that note, Kellay John, I'd like to thank you for your time and for your valuable insights. And I hope to see a lot more from the two of you in the coming year, months and years, actually. So thank you so much guys. McKen, Nazi and John Phillip, everyone. Thank
You very much.