With numerous funded PRISM projects underway, we are still missing a key piece of infrastructure in the form of an identity wallet for the browser. We need to be able to connect our digital identities
We already have a working product (see video). It’s the first browser-wallet for digital identities (except an internal demo by IOG). Now we need to finish and ship it asap to help PRISM move forward.
This is the total amount allocated to BLOCKTRUST identity wallet (PRISM)
The interest in Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) keeps growing. And it's no wonder: it offers a solution to the ever-growing problems surrounding trust on the Internet, digital identity, and the worrying trends towards centralization. With DIDs (Decentralized Identifiers) and VC (Verifiable Credentials), we finally got a way to govern our own digital identities. IOG has launched PRISM, a very promising technological implementation of the concept of SSI. While IOG is developing products internally to roll out the technology in cooperation with the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia, other companies like DISH or WorldMobile are building their own solutions. However, these are only proprietary products for their own specific markets. Outside these business deals, it is primarily thanks to Project Catalyst that so many projects based on PRISM have already been funded and are all developing new and exciting solutions. In short: Things are moving forward!
However, what is still missing and preventing some projects from pressing on is a browser wallet. With a browser wallet, scenarios like logging in with a DID, or signing credentials on a web page would finally be possible. These are all essential building blocks to enable PRISM to become mainstream. And the demand is substantial!
Okay, but aren't there already other wallets?
First, we have to distinguish between crypto-wallets and identity-wallets. Although they both communicate with the Cardano blockchain, the technology behind them is fundamentally different. Crypto light wallets such as Yoroi, Etnerl, Metamask etc. are the part of the wallet where we store our money. Identity wallets, on the other hand, hold our ID, our education degree, our driver's license, and much more. One day, there will be a type of wallet, like our physical wallet, that combines both, but it will be quite some time until that is happening.
And what about other identity wallets?
In the Cardano ecosystem, there is currently RootsWallet (also a Catalyst project), a wallet for Android which is getting built with great success and energy. Primary focus of this wallet is communication with other wallets, and using identity wallets in the real world. Blocktrust identity wallet, on the other hand, focuses on interaction with websites. Think Metamask for Identity! For us, it's first and foremost about finally providing the ecosystem with a working identity wallet, which is able to interact with websites. And these don't even have to be just the Cardano ecosystem! Additionally, it is necessary to understand that we are working with a technology with is standardized in public (W3C, Decentralized Identity Foundation, ...). There is no vendor lock-in here. Moving your identity from blocktrust identity wallet to RootsWallet? Not a problem.
There are currently other mobile wallets like Proofspace (also a great approach), as well as various concepts and proposals to move the wallet issue forward. IOG's light wallet called Lace introduced at Consensus is also supposed to be able to manage digital identities one day, but this is an addition which will come somewhat after the initial release (which itself is still unknown). As it currently stands, there's a lack of solutions for the pressing need of wallets which are able to integrate into websites.
Why did it take to so long to build a browser-wallet then?
What will you get?
You will get the blocktrust identity wallet as browser-extension (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari) in a very short timeframe to finally be able to continue building and integrate your applications with a browser-wallet.
The wallet will have the following features:
Additionally, we will provide documentation and a toolkit to help developers integrate the wallet with their web app to allow login, bidirectional sharing of credentials, and to process signature requests. We believe that having a good documentation geared towards developers and code example and demos is as important as the wallet itself.
But it's not just about developers. As soon as the first PRISM-enabled websites take advantage of the integrations, a new realm of possibilities and use-cases will suddenly emerge for everyone to enjoy.
The key to driving the adoption of Atala PRISM, in our opinion, is primarily the ability to integrate PRISM with a wide range of web apps. These will initially be apps from the PRISM ecosystem, but there is no reason to stay only in the crypto space, SSI can be used everywhere.
This proposal could have also been submitted in the "Developer Ecosystem" challenge, but the wallet is an application for everyone, not just developers.
Since a working demo already exists, there are no technical risks as far as the actual product is concerned. There should not be any significant delays here.
After the essential development is completed, the browser extension will be made available for public download (phase 2). This allows developers to use the wallet straight away. In order for the wallet to be used by the general user without technical knowledge, it must be offered in the Chrome Web Store and the Firefox Add-ons Marketplace, among other places. For this purpose, the wallet has to go through a review process. The certification for the Chrome Web Store is particularly time-consuming and tiresome. In addition, there are problems with the new format for WebExtension Manifest v3 (regarding WebAssembly browser-extentions). Although a time buffer has been included, there may be delays in delivery for individual browsers that are beyond our control.
Additional delays may result from the fact that IOG has not yet published its PRISM SDK. Although we are technologically not dependent on it, it is still unclear to what extent any kind of software that directly or indirectly uses PRISM can be made public before any kind of official SDK is released. This affects not only us, but any PRISM project whose code becomes public. We expect this uncertainty to be resolved in the very near future.
Phase 1 (10 weeks)
The currently existing demo will be built out to a complete product. This includes among other things:
Phase 2 (6 weeks)
We have the explicit goal to get the wallet into the hands of developers and the first users as quickly as possible. For this purpose, we will be making the wallet available for download on our website as soon as this phase begins. The second phase will be dedicated to feedback, bug fixing and support.
Phase 3 (4 weeks)
Since the essential work should already be finished with the completion of phase 2, we will focus on getting the wallet into the web stores of the different browser providers in phase 3. Unfortunately, this is not a job for one day, but might require patience and longer discussions. While we wait for the approval, we will build a website for the wallet, with all the explanations for users and documentation for developers:
Other projects and timelines
If there will be funding of any additional proposals from blocktrust, there will inevitably be an overlap. Priority will then be given first to the proposal with the most votes (considering the technical feasibility of the order in which the projects could be completed most efficiently).
To be as transparent as possible: here are the other proposals from blocktrust in this fund:
Björn Sandmann is also working on a previous proposal from Fund 7. It allowed the proposer to work full-time on PRISM and laid therefor the basis for much of what was accomplished since then (e.g., .net SDK for Atala PRISM and also the PoC of this browser-extension wallet). The proposal from F7 is still ongoing and will likely finish as planned (September) and therefore will not collide with the new proposals.
The budget only consists of the required work for development and documentation.
Lead-Developer (Björn Sandmann): effectively working for 40h/week for 10 weeks to complete the first phase as fast a possible to get the wallet into the hand of its first users (400 h). Thereafter, I’ll work for 25h/week for the other half of the project (250h). With a rate of 80 USD, this does amount to 52,000 USD. This being an essential project for the PRISM community, I would invest my time/money into the project and reduce my personal costs to 40,000 USD.
Frontend-Developer (John Grabenmeier): 5 weeks with 20h/weeks *50 USD = Resulting in 5,000 USD.
A contingency for budget overruns is not necessary in our opinion, since the project is clear in scope and should not contain any major risks which would cause costly delays. If so, these costs will be covered by the team and will not cause a halt of the project before completion.
Overall: 45,000 USD
blocktrust is a startup focusing on developing technologies around Atala PRISM. For more information about our other proposals visit: https://blocktrust.dev
9+ years of full-stack development with the .net Stack. Focused on identity and privacy solutions. PRISM Pioneer, Atala ASTRO, Plutus Pioneer, already funded proposals. Implemented all aspects of the working demo of the blocktrust identity wallet.
Project history and technical skills: https://www.gulp.de/gulp2/g/spezialisten/profil/bsandmann
20+ years of frontend development. Proven track record of from small online shops to high-profile enterprise systems.
Project history and technical skills: https://www.johngrabenmeier.com/
There are no plans for further funding through Project Catalyst at this time. However, if there is a need for additional features on the community side after the project is completed, subsequent funding may be considered.
One idea might be to make this wallet also available on Android and iOS. Because of the technology used, nearly all the code can be reused for this (from the SDK up to layout and the input controls of the interface).
During the complete funding phase of the project, we will write a blog entry every two weeks at https://blocktrust.dev/blog, which will provide information about the progress of the work including screenshots of the current state of development.
Additionally, the first goal of publishing the wallet after phase 1 can easily be verified. After that all the work takes place in the open anyway: There will be discussion with the community, and then later the creation of the website with all the educational material for users and the write-up of the documentation for develops.
Finally, after shipping the wallet to the web stores of the browser vendors (Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Safari) everybody will be able to track the numbers of download publicly.
Success could, of course, be defined by the user numbers of the wallet. But the real success lies in the fact that a working browser extension wallet means that many PRISM projects that have already been started can now be completed. An identity wallet is not a standalone application, but primarily an enabler for many other ideas that are still in people's heads. Much like Metamask permanently transformed Web3 with their website integration to allow users to interact financially with web apps, an SSI wallet will rise to do the same with user identity. Of course, we hope it will be this wallet, but eventually, it doesn't matter. What is important is that we move the PRISM ecosystem forward as a whole, and this proposal is in a good position of doing exactly that.
This proposal is entirely new and has no relationship to previous ones.
Proposer: Björn Sandmann, 9+ years of full-stack development with .net. Focused on identity and privacy solutions in the cloud. PRISM & Plutus Pioneer, ASTRO. Working full-time on PRISM projects. Frontend support: John Grabenmeier, 20+ years of frontend development.