A Better DID Resolver


mhrsntrk / September 26, 2023

Verifying credentials that can actually be verified and presentations that are also verifiable has become a major part of how Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) systems work. So, what does this mean? Usually, it means identifying the DID document of whoever is issuing the credential or both the person holding and issuing the verifiable presentation. This is done to get access to their public key, essentially a unique identifier. While a lot of the popular ways to do this use a type of technology called Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) or blockchain to link the DID document and make it available for everyone to see, there are problems with trust when it comes to data that's collected this way.

When you're resolving a DID document, you have to trust a provider called an external RPC for access to the DLT. The problem with this is that the data can sometimes be tampered with or changed in some way, which could cause issues for the people trying to verify the data. There are some ways to help with this issue such as using second or third RPC providers to confirm the data or even hosting your own nodes. But when you consider how many popular DID methods there are, these solutions might not be practical.

To help with the issue of being interoperable, or being able to work with each other, in the current SSI ecosystem, the DIF started a project called the Universal Resolver project. This is a really helpful tool, but it was made by the community and doesn't have a clear plan for becoming a production version. It also relies mostly on external RPC providers for access to the DID document data, so it doesn't completely solve the trust issues.

You can find a "light" implementation of a universal resolver on this page

Looking at all of these issues, it's clear why we need a solution that we can trust without any doubt. We need an alternative we know we can rely on. This is why we should come up with a system like a Decentralized Universal Resolver Service (DURS).

The goal of DURS is to create a new platform, one that's more decentralized, that can handle resolving DIDs no matter their method. This is important because it will help us address the trust issues that come up with current methods and solutions. DURS will also strengthen the SSI system overall. By solving trust issues and working with different methods, it will make the entire system more sturdy and trustworthy, giving us a stronger, more sure way to handle and process DIDs. This makes the development of DURS a solid and dependable solution for improving how we handle verifiable credentials and verifiable presentations.