Spruce ID seeks to decentralise online identity using your Ethereum wallet

Firm will develop a "Sign-in with Ethereum" option for web services via Web3 wallets

Decentralised identity advocate Spruce ID will work with the Ethereum Foundation (EF) and Ethereum Name Services (ENS) to develop a standardised ‘Sign-in with Ethereum’ option for online web services.

The option will allow users to use their Ethereum accounts and wallets to access an array of web services instead of using multiple accounts owned by centralised identity providers such as Google, Facebook, and Apple.

Spruce ID was selected by the Ethereum Foundation to develop the proposal, and has already begun developing its strategy for the project, which will be built and developed on top of its existing products.

The Spruce ID team will collaborate with developers from EF and ENS to ensure that the project remains “decentralised, open and non-proprietary” alongside providing a viable long-term product for Ethereum. The product will work with more simplistic Web2 services alongside decentralised Web3 providers such as Metamask and Ethereum-based dApps.

Spruce ID is an open-source software provider that is aiming to bring “self-sovereign identity” on a cross-chain basis via its “Toolkit for Decentralised Identity”, which includes an ecosystem of existing products designed to decentralise user identities when using web services.

Its ecosystem includes products such as DIDKit and Rebase, both of which assist users in managing online identities and critical data across various platforms and aims to evolve the age-old crypto saying “not your keys, not your crypto” to the more conclusive “not your keys, not your identity”.

The team notes a number of benefits for decentralised ID across web services including seamless cross-chain use-cases and improved authenticity for NFT creators via provable ownership of social media accounts, websites and wallet addresses. Additionally, the team notes that Spruce ID can bring private DeFi pools by defining “membership criteria” for institutional-only pools, which have already been established by leading DeFi providers such as Aave.

Demand is increasing for more decentralised  ID options

The demand for decentralised identity options has been spurred on by DeFi and NFTs, both of which require a Web3 wallet such as Metamask to access. Leading platforms such as OpenSea and Aave both utilise Web3 integration to enable users to instantly sign in to the platform on a decentralised basis and interact with yield farms or purchase NFTs.

Web3 wallets such as Metamask have become the standard for accessing dApps across the crypto industry due to their safety, reliability and the decentralized nature of the wallets. Metamask allows you to “own your data”, meaning only the user has access to your accounts, assets and data.

Almost all leading dApps utilise Web3 wallets to grant access in a decentralised manner and allow users to open a session with ease through a simple sign-in process, further enabling users to control which protocols they choose to share their data using passwordless authentication. The demand is there for Metamask too. The wallet provider recently revealed that it recorded more than ten million monthly active users – a growth of 1,800% since June 2020.

Despite their popularity within the crypto space, little integration exists outside of crypto-native products, with a majority of web service outside of the crypto ecosystem reliant on email/password sign-in or one-click options from corporations. It’s anticipated that, as the industry grows, and Spruce ID continues its development of the “Sign-in with Ethereum” option, more global companies and businesses will enable users to sign-in and access web services though the Ethereum wallets.

This could, however, pose an issue for those seeking ‘maximum’ decentralisation as personal information is bound to be required, meaning that certain criteria may have to be met for access to web services that require some form of identification. The rise of ENS domains, which are domain names that include the “.eth” registry, has shown that users are willing to attribute their personal information to an online identity and wallet whilst many simply choose to remain anonymous behind an avatar.

Many users already tie their ‘online’ identity across multiple platforms such as social media and online communities, which often intersects with their identity within the crypto space.

Naturally, your presence in the crypto space is tied to the assets you own and what communities you’re part of, all of which can be provably owned, projected and displayed through a Web3 wallet.

It’s now expected that, as the cryptocurrency industry expands its presence into the wider corners of society, a ‘digital’ identity will become increasingly popular, and the desire for a “Sign-in with Ethereum” option will eventually see the innovation introduced into “mainstream” web services.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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