Verite is a set of open source decentralized identity protocols that bring trust, privacy, interoperability and risk mitigation to individuals and entities participating in the global crypto financial ecosystem.
These protocols allow people and institutions to cryptographically prove claims about their identities, and enable service providers to attest to those claims, while avoiding exposure of sensitive personal data. For example, an individual might prove KYC, credit, insurance, accredited investor status or similar identity claims to an application or smart contract while preserving personal privacy.
Unlike centralized identity architectures, Verite’s decentralized approach enables people and institutions to control how their identity data is accessed and avoids identity vendor lock-in. Verite is not a token, requires no specific blockchain, and doesn't store sensitive personal data on any blockchain.
Decentralized identity may ultimately enrich healthcare, creative arts, entertainment, gaming, agriculture, education and other domains. Verite’s focus today, however, is sharp and specific: Providing a powerful, interoperable, free, open path for identity to unlock new value while meeting compliance needs in crypto finance and the USD Coin (USDC) ecosystem.
Decentralized identity architectures give individuals control of their identities and credentials, just as they control their own crypto assets. Service providers add attestations to identities in the form of tamper-evident, cryptographically-secure Verifiable Credentials. Verifiers request and verify credentials in their products and services.
Verite is available for everyone to use and build upon under an MIT open-source license. There is no cost to use, modify or submit proposed changes to Verite.
Verite was developed as a set of free and open source standards by the Centre Consortium and its members in consultation with leaders in DeFi, exchanges, wallets, and the broader USDC and crypto ecosystem. Verite is grounded in decentralized identity standards from the W3C and Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), and Centre contributed to relevant DIF specifications during the development of Verite.
“Credential” refers to the W3C Verifiable Credentials (VCs) standard, which is a secure, lightweight wrapper allowing expression of any claim by an issuer. VCs are core pieces that enable interoperability to decentralized identity solutions. Regardless of the statement inside the VC, any verifier can understand how to ensure the VC hasn’t been tampered with and is issued by the expected party. This international standard was developed by identity experts with privacy, individual control and portability in mind. Designed for a wide range of use cases, including those containing sensitive personal information, they are receiving increased interest for high-stakes credentials, and support from major software vendors. Verifiable Credentials support selective disclosure techniques, such as zero-knowledge proofs.
Verite’s initial release includes credentials relevant for financial transactions, such as proof that an entity that controls a blockchain address has been KYC’d and similar credentials for credit score and counterparty compliance.
Commonly-used identity solutions, such as “single sign-on” from large internet services, are associated with central silos where customer identity data is often tracked, bought, sold, breached or otherwise exposed, and generally managed outside of the control of individuals themselves. If these sorts of identity solutions were forced on top of transparent, decentralized, open networks, they could result in leaks of information about personal identity and behavior.
A new approach to identity is needed to unlock the value of emerging decentralized “Web3” applications, including DeFi and NFT markets today, where older, centralized internet identity models either work unsafely or do not work at all.
In recent years, technical advancements in cryptography and blockchains have enabled new trust architectures over open networks, leading to decentralized identity architectures. With decentralized identity, you control access to your data and share it when and with whom you choose, all while supporting compliance with the laws and regulations applicable to financial transactions.
Currently, there is no industry standard agreement on how products and services might interoperate in key crypto finance use cases, such as how they represent proof of KYC or accredited investor status. With Verite, the Centre Consortium aims to provide clarity by demonstrating standards-based recipes that work without exposing unnecessary Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
Anyone can use Verite. Verite’s use cases are intended for individuals, financial institutions, services, wallets and smart contracts involved in digital asset transfers across public blockchains.
As an open standard, Verite is available to any solution that recognizes the common data models and protocols, and doesn’t require any specific software implementation.
Verite’s credentials are based on the lightweight, flexible Verifiable Credentials data model, and you can supply your own schemas as desired.
Verite’s KYC and other schemas were designed with input from developers, as well as compliance and privacy experts. The evolution of these is ongoing at Centre, whose goal is to continue promotion of data-minimizing credentials useful for financial interactions.
Verite’s approach was designed to increase flexibility and ability to integrate into existing systems without introducing vendor dependencies.
Verite standards do not require use of a specific chain, token, consensus algorithm, wallet, storage system, p2p library or other fundamental infrastructure.
Centre works with its members and the broader CeFi and DeFi USDC ecosystem so that we can develop products and solutions that are optimized for compliance and interoperability. Centre’s solutions are open, transparent and usable by anyone, whether connected to Centre and the USDC ecosystem or not.
Verite is continuously developed and refined with compliance and risk considerations in mind, balancing the needs for identity attribution, risk mitigation, user privacy and data control. The protocols preserve the capability for forensic investigations by appropriately authorized parties without exposing sensitive data to smart contracts, blockchains or the public during the normal course of transactional activity. For example, law enforcement acting under legal authority could identify the issuer of a credential associated with suspected illicit activity and direct inquiries to the issuer of that credential.