ToIP update: Utility Foundry Working Group

Alex Tweeddale

ToIP Community, we have an exciting announcement to share.


To kick off the new year, we have decided to re-energise and refresh one of our core working groups, the Utility Foundry Working Group (UFWG).


For those of you who don’t know already, for the last 18 months the UFWG has successfully compiled a Directory of the existing Layer 1 public utilities and has been developing a framework for becoming a ToIP-compatible utility. Such work can be found on GitHub here.


What is changing?


  1. Leadership. 


The first change is in the group’s leadership positions.


We’d like to say a massive thank you to the existing Co-Chairs of the WG, Andre Kudra (esatus) and Mathieu Glaude (NorthernBlock), who are stepping down from their positions within the WG. Both Andre and Mathieu have played a pivotal role in shaping the group to this point and have been excellent contributors to the community in general. We’ll be sure to see them participating in the discussions going forward from a more reserved position. 


And a huge welcome to our new Co-Chair candidates:


Jessica Townsend (Accenture)

Jessica has served as the Corporate Identity Global Lead for the last 18 months at Accenture and has recently transitioned to focusing on Dynamic Credentialing and Certifications. She was an early contributor to the Bedrock Business Utility and has supported deliverable creation within the Utility Foundry Working Group over the last year as well as serving as the ToIP Steering Committee proxy for Accenture.


Lynn Bendixsen (Indicio)
Lynn currently manages and maintains the Indicio, PBC public utility networks. He has built multiple Hyperledger Indy networks and has been contributing his technical expertise to the community since 2018, and also to the Utility Foundry Working Group since the early days.


Alex Tweeddale (cheqd) 


Alex currently leads Governance & Compliance at cheqd; he specialises in Layer 1 governance models, and has written the first decentralised governance framework for SSI. Previously, he worked as Product Manager for Spherity, leading work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He has been an active contributor to ToIP in both the Governance Stack Working Group, and more recently, in the Utility Foundry Working Group. 


  1. Expanding the scope


In the 18 months of the UFWG, we have seen public identity utilities develop broadly in their usability and functionality. This is largely due to the flexibility of the decentralised identifier (DID), which enables trust to be rooted onto a variety of platforms and networks, each with different functions. 


For example, we have seen the emergence of KERI, which provides a new unique alternative to blockchains for handling decentralised trust, enabling self-certifying credentials and authentic chained data. Similarly, we have seen the emergence of cheqd which focuses on providing incentives in the form of a native token for issuing and verifying credentials, bridging SSI with the expanding world of DeFi. Both of these have developed alongside more accomplished identity utilities, and serve to expand the scope of SSI in different directions.


It is therefore important for the WG to continue its existing focus of developing a framework to accommodate all public identity utilities, but also make best efforts to more closely align with the latest Layer 1 innovations in technology, governance, and decentralised finance. 


We can’t wait to get this year started, and look forward to seeing both new and familiar faces going forward.


We’d like to invite all interested ToIP members to attend the next UFWG meeting on Tuesday 1st February to vote in the new leadership changes and voice your thoughts on the expanded scope of the WG.


Next meeting: 1st February 2022

6:00 AEST | 15:00 EST | 20:00 CET 

Google Calendar

Meeting link:



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