xLab partners with Hyland Software and Dataswift to develop solution for digital credentials

Hyland, Dataswift, and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) xLab students continued their partnership this semester in developing a solution for storing and sharing verifiable, blockchain-anchored, digital credentials. This project builds upon considerable efforts in the standards community, particularly the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), to create open standards and protocols for verifiable credentials (VCs) on the web. These standards form the backbone of self-sovereign identity (SSI), a new model for digital identity on the internet that empowers individuals to have ownership over their personal data.

The fall 2021 semester marked the beginning of the partnership, where students built a web application for storing and managing personal Blockcerts, a type of verifiable credential that was architected by Hyland and is currently being adopted by organizations around the world that are looking for more interoperable, user-centric ways of sharing and verifying claims. The application utilized Dataswift’s Decentralized Data Servers (DDSs), an innovative privacy-preserving solution that “re-homes” data and data titles, providing users legal ownership over their personal data.

Continuing into the spring 2022 semester, students focused on aligning the previous semester’s efforts with Hyland’s Blockcert Wallet Android mobile application by adding support for DDS-based credential storage and implementing an extensible mechanism for sharing Blockcerts. This new form of credential sharing in the Blockcerts Wallet opens the possibility for new and exciting use cases for credential sharing.

The partnership has benefited all parties, with CWRU students gaining valuable real-world experience in full-stack mobile and web development on an SSI open-source project, and CWRU obtaining partner companies that expand co-curricular opportunities for its students. Hyland, meanwhile, has expanded its potential pipeline of future developers and advanced the development of a prototype for credential sharing and verification that has cross-industry applicability. The progress made thus far will set the stage for further collaborations between Hyland, Dataswift, and CWRU, which could potentially involve proofs of concept with CWRU students targeting real-life use cases around VCs and other central aspects of SSI.