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DISCO : Privacy Protection in Decentralized Identity

Originally aired on August 11, 2023

MikoBits interviews Evin McMullen from DISCO about decentralized identity and its role in the metaverse. DISCO aims to eliminate the need for filling out forms by allowing individuals to control and share their own identity and data. The platform enables users to carry their information in a “data backpack” using their blockchain keys. This allows for the seamless transfer of data between different apps and platforms, increasing personalization and reducing the risks associated with traditional identity systems. By integrating decentralized identity into the metaverse, individuals can enjoy personalized experiences and enhance their interactions within digital and physical environments.

What problem does DISCO solve?

  • DISCO allows users to avoid filling out forms and repeating information by creating a data backpack that carries their identity and data across different apps and platforms.
  • This eliminates the high switching costs associated with moving between different apps and increases data security and privacy.

How does decentralized identity work?

  • DISCO enables users to use their blockchain keys to control and share pieces of information written about them in the form of credentials.
  • These credentials, similar to plastic ID cards, allow users to express specific aspects of their identity and preferences in a portable and secure manner.
  • The use of blockchain keys adds a new superpower to the keys, allowing users to write, send, receive, and use information about themselves securely.

The role of identity in the metaverse

  • The metaverse, according to DISCO, is the ability to show up in any digital or physical environment and experience personalization based on the shared aspects of one’s identity.
  • Identity is the key to unlocking a metaverse that is not interrupted by sign-up forms and offers personalized experiences and opportunities tailored to individuals.
  • By providing more than just financial information on-chain, individuals can enjoy unique and authentic human connections and personalized content within the metaverse.

The value of DISCO in the current landscape

  • DISCO has gained over 12,000 users through its public data beta, with support for over 130,000 credentials.
  • The most popular application within DISCO is the “GM” credential, which allows users to send and receive “good morning” greetings.
  • DISCO’s focus on user preferences and personalization has resonated with users who enjoy the ability to express different facets of their identity in a low-stress and fun way.

The challenge of transferability in decentralized identity

  • Transferability of credentials can pose risks, as it enables the sale of an individual’s entire identity.
  • DISCO aims to mitigate this risk by focusing on the entanglement of multiple identifiers and data points, making it less likely for users to sell or give up their full set of credentials.
  • The goal is to create a concentration of risk within the interconnectedness of different addresses, rather than relying solely on a single key or credential.

Navigating the future of identity in a changing landscape

  • The future of identity lies in the balance between protocol-centric design and human-centered design.
  • Protocols need to consider the limitations and behaviors of human actions to ensure the development of user-centric products and solutions.
  • DISCO aims to prioritize user needs and experiences above all else, providing a platform that bridges the gap between rational protocol systems and the complexities of human behavior.