Layer 1 Governance Framework Task Force: Kick off

Alex Tweeddale

Hey ToIP Community, I hope everyone had a great #IIW 34 if you were there!

I wanted to write to the community to introduce my plans and thoughts for the Layer 1 Governance Framework Task Force (we need to come up with a good acronym here đŸ˜„).

I have volunteered to lead the work here and wanted to put some initial thoughts together.


Now that the Trust over IP Metamodel has been completed and the initial foundations are in place, it is time to get to the fun part - building out governance templates, policies and documentation for companies/projects/consortia to use in order to adopt decentralized identity in the real world.

Layer 1 is focussed on any Utility/Registry/Platform which can anchor Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs), generally for the purpose of furthering self-sovereign identity use cases.

And the scope of this can be BROAD:

  • Identity-specific blockchains: Sovrin (Indy), Indicio (Indy), IDunion (Indy), cheqd (Cosmos), Kilt (Polkadot), Dock (Polkadot), European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (Besu and Fabric)

  • General blockchains: Ethereum, Bitcoin, Polkadot, Cardano, Cosmos, Tezos

  • Layer 2 blockchains: Sidetree (ION, Orb, Element), Polygon

  • Non-blockchain distributed ledgers: Corda, KERI, NYM, Hedera

  • Web 2.0 infrastructure: Websites, web domains, social media accounts, GitHub, Keybase

  • Derived purely from PKI: did:key

  • Physical infrastructure: A piece of paper

Of course, the range of actors involved in governance in each of the above instances can differ drastically.

The Governance Authorities responsible for overseeing the storage of public DIDs could be a:

  • Company

  • Foundation

  • Consortia

  • Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)

  • Government or supranational body

So our job in this task force is breaking this down into what each of these Governance Authorities need to do to ensure:

  • Interoperability with Verifiable Credential types and other DID methods (An Interoperability Profile such as Saturn V, WACI-DIDComm, VC-JWT)

  • Regulatory compliance

  • Security, risk and crisis management

  • DID resolution and management best practices

  • Commercial sustainability

  • Fair and transparent voting processes

(To scratch the surface)

In short, to do Layer 1 Governance well, accurately and in its entirety, there will be a lot of work which will need people of different specialisms to come together.

This is where you can come in and help.

Where do we start?

  1. I would love for people interested in participating here to reply to this email and let me know what areas of Governance/identity they specialise in, have worked in before, or want to focus on.

  2. I want to kick off the work here with a workshop session, where we all jump on a Miro board and start to tackle what needs to be included in this Governance Framework. The work from this workshop will then start to form a skeleton of what work needs to be done, and what sections there need to be within a Governance Framework template for Layer 1.

  3. I then would like to split up work based on people's specialisms. For example, we may have:

    1. Experts in SSI, who may have previously worked on the Sovrin Governance Framework. I would want these people to look at the technical standards such as DIDs, schemas, revocation registries that are anchored to a Layer 1, and what kinds of interoperability we are aiming for / how these technical standards should be governed.

    2. Experts in decentralized governance, DAOs and tokenized voting models who could help model out what these types of governance authorities would need in a template.

    3. Governance generalists who understand what types of policies and frameworks would be required by enterprises, governments and consortia for audits and best practices.

I would also like to combine this work with that of the Utility Foundry Working Group (UFWG) and the leadership there, since this directly supports the objectives, goals and interests of ToIP Utilities.

And breatheee…

Please let me know how this all sounds, and whether you agree with the direction here. Then the next step would be deriving the amounts of interest and starting with the workshopping session!


Alex Tweeddale

Governance & Compliance Lead

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