European Digital Identity and the Velocity Network: Building a Secure Future for Digital Credentials
As the Architecture and Reference Framework (ARF) sets up the technical environment for European Credentialing to be fully digitized, the Velocity Network has emerged as a significant player in the Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) landscape.
In this blog post, we will explore the intersection of the ARF, European Digital Identity (EUDI) Wallets, and the Velocity Network, and how these entities align to create a secure and efficient digital identity ecosystem.
The ARF establishes a framework for integrating various credentials and ecosystems into EUDI Wallets, which combine elements of EIDASv1 with SSI standards from organizations like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and Open ID Foundation (OIDF), as well as other emerging standards such as those from International Standards Organization (ISO).
Velocity Network was created in 2019 to address the trust gap in the education industry and labor market by bringing SSI to students and workers.
As both EUDI Wallet ARF and Velocity Network are based on SSI principles, they share a close architectural overlap.
Velocity Network Principles
The founding team of Velocity Network focused on two guiding principles:
- Building a production-ready network to gain real-world insights, even before standards bodies had caught up. This approach led to the creation of bespoke implementations for a working network.
- Protecting integrators from changes in the underlying protocols by using commonly used standards like HTTPS, REST, JSON, and JSON Schema.
These principles have proven successful as the Velocity Network is now a leading SSI ecosystem with mature governance, data standardization, global legal interoperability, and key technical learnings around privacy, security, and usability.
Two generations of Velocity Network™ protocols have been developed, with the third in progress. G3 will broaden the adoption of standards for credential exchange and cross-ecosystem trust. Integrators can replace existing integrations with new open-source libraries. G2 and G3 will interoperate during migration before G3 becomes the sole protocol.
EIDASv2 and Velocity Network G3
With the ARF and EIDASv2 sharing similar roles, trust frameworks, and protocols, the Velocity Network is well-positioned to support the EUDI Wallet ecosystem. As EIDASv2 regulations and technical specifications are finalized, the Velocity Network G3 will close any small gaps in credential format and exchange protocols, ensuring seamless integration.
Roles and Trust Framework
The ARF outlines an architecture for personal ID credentials and promotes self-sovereign wallets supporting various sectors, including education, careers, and travel. Qualified and Non-Qualified Attestation of Attribute Providers (QEAAPs & EAAPs) issue credentials, with Velocity Network™ serving them and acting as a Trust List Provider for Network members.
Velocity Network™, a global SSI governance leader, requires participants to undergo Know Your Business (KYB) and aims to have its Trust List officially recognized, enabling EU citizen interactions and adopting mature standards as they emerge.
Velocity Network™ G2 utilizes custom HTTP protocols, while EIDASv2 employs OIDF and DIF protocols, with both systems focusing on PIDs. The upcoming Velocity Network™ G3 will support SD-JWT-VC and OIDC protocols, aligning with EIDASv2 in credential format and exchange protocols, although it will not support LDP credentials. This alignment will enable interoperability between the two systems, allowing credentials to be presented as identities to issuers and relying parties.
A wallet may implement both EUDI Wallet and Velocity Network technical requirements, allowing credentials to be issued on one ecosystem and used on another. EUDI Wallets that receive and share Personal ID (PID) credentials must meet specific technical, privacy, security, and trust requirements. These additional requirements do not prevent a single wallet from being utilized for both PIDs and Velocity Network Career Credentials.
EIDASv2 is still in its early stages, with Large Scale Pilots (LSPs) and legislative processes expected to take several years. Realistic launch dates for EUDI Wallets are estimated around 2027-2033. However, the strong alignment between EIDASv2 and Velocity Network ensures a secure and efficient digital identity ecosystem in the future.
- Velocity Network and EUDI Wallet roles are effectively identical, and Velocity Network will support participants needing EIDASv2 registration.
- Trust on the Velocity Network is already established, and bridging technical and regulatory gaps can commence once EUDI Wallet trust requirements are clarified.
- Credential Format and Exchange Protocols will align with PID standards when Velocity Network G3 rolls out in the latter half of 2023.
- EUDI Wallets may add extra requirements to existing Velocity Network Wallets, but a single wallet can still meet the needs of both ecosystems.
By using Velocity Network’s packages, libraries, and SDKs, integrators can be confident that their credential systems will be EIDASv2 compliant once regulations are finalized.
We’re excited about the future opportunities that the European Digital Identity and Velocity Network will create for billions of people globally, empowering them with secure, interoperable, and efficient identity ecosystems.