I. Lambov, Decentralized Identity: Recent Scientific Advancements and Applications

Key Words: Reusable identity; decentralized identity; self-sovereign identity; web3 identity; zero-knowledge proofs; trust models.
Abstract. The trajectory of decentralized identity, anchored in the principles of self-sovereign identity (SSI), Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs), and verifiable credentials, holds the potential to redefine the contours of the digital landscape. This paradigm shift not only signifies a pivotal transformation but also heralds the advent of an epoch characterized by heightened trust, enhanced privacy, and fortified security. This article presents the major scientific developments and applications of 2023 in the field of Decentralized Identity. Decentralized identity (DID) continues to witness significant progress, with 2023 shaping up as a year of noteworthy scientific advancements and impactful applications. This article delves into the major developments that have propelled the field forward. Firstly, we explore the evolution of DID specifications and standards. We examine the progress of ongoing initiatives like the W3C DID Working Group and the Hyperledger Aries framework, highlighting their contributions to interoperability and secure identity management. Secondly, we review the existing publications on the subject and categorize them based on the nature and focus of the research. This classification scheme provides a framework for understanding the diverse facets of scientific research on Decentralized Identity. It highlights the multidisciplinary nature of SSI research, which spans computer science, cryptography, engineering, etc. Another approach we took in the classification of the scientific publications on SSI, especially the more technologically focused studies, was based on the working groups, operating within the DIF. Thirdly, we delve into the security and privacy advancements in 2023. This section explores novel research on zero-knowledge proofs for DID systems, privacy-preserving credential issuance, and techniques for mitigating security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, the article examines the social and economic impacts of DID implementations. We analyze case studies and emerging applications across various sectors like healthcare, supply chain management, and education, highlighting how DID is transforming trust models and empowering individuals. Finally, we discuss the challenges and future directions for the field. This section considers the need for scalability, regulatory frameworks, and broader adoption to unlock the full potential of DID. By synthesizing these key aspects, this article provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of DID, showcasing its scientific advancements and diverse applications in 2023. It aims to inform researchers, practitioners, and policymakers about the transformative potential of DID and the ongoing efforts to shape a more secure and user-centric future for digital identity management.