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It’s common knowledge that Web 3.0 needs a better user experience for the next massive wave of adoption to take place. However, what isn’t discussed enough is the key role that identity plays in user experience.
It’s now accepted that the future will be cross-chain, but how do users seamlessly move their digital identity, assets and data throughout different networks? The best way is through DIDs (decentralized identifiers).
In Web 2.0, users must create separate logins for every platform, and these identities are stored and controlled by centralized platforms. In Web 3.0, users can own and control their own DIDs, which are stored decentrally.
Here’s how DIDs can influence the future of how the crypto industry is builtand how they will be used to empower users across the internet like never before.
The inevitability of a multi-chain world requires secure DID solutions
The current version of Web 3.0 is siloed and fragmented, and users are often required to take a series of complicated steps to move assets from one chain to another. This often involves utilizing bridges, which lack the same levels of decentralization and security as most public blockchains.
As a result, current bridging solutions have fallen victim to a myriad of hacks and exploits. So, not only is there very little ease-of-use, but users are often also putting their assets at risk when they move them across chains with the current innovations they have at their disposal.
DIDs will be an important part of addressing the user experience side of today’s interoperability problems. This can be accomplished by giving users a distinct tool they can leverage to transport assets and information cross-chainminus the friction that’s tied to current bridging solutions.
An empowered creator economy necessitates portable reputation
In addition to allowing for greater interoperability and having the potential to contribute to Web 3.0’s long-term scalability, DIDs also have the ability to make our online reputations portable.
At first glance, reputation portability might seem like a frivolous need, but this kind of functionality is particularly essential for the creator economy and those who rely on social media platforms for the growth of their businesses.
For example, if a creator has built up her audience on one social media platform, nothing exists that allows that creator to bring her audience with her to another platform. Similarly, users might have a huge following on Instagram but only a few followers on Twitter, and no way to move their followers between those platforms because they are highly centralized and owned by different companies.
A widely accepted DID standard would allow creators who have built up goodwill on one chain to join another chain and bring that legitimacy along with them.
However, the tech isn’t quite up to speed with these ambitions because identity standards are still very fragmented. Still, there are emerging signs of progress.
For example, the World Wide Web Consortium, W3C, is moving forward with a DID standard that could break the mold. Their vision is to reach out and bring true, seamless, safe and consistent interoperability to users everywhere.
To scale Web 3.0 to the masses, we need DIDs that enable compliance
The ultimate goal for DIDs is to streamline processes like onboarding and to simplify Web 3.0 user experiences to the point where users don’t even need to know what chain or wallet they are interacting with.
In order for this to become a reality, DApp (decentralized application) compliance with KYC (know your customer) and AML (anti-money laundering) standards, age verification, uniqueness and DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) governance is also essential.
Today, users everywhere experience significant barriers to using different Web 3.0 products. While this can be mitigated by distributing educational resources to the crypto-curious, the reality is that simplified onboarding processes with streamlined compliance will ultimately change the game.
DIDs can overcome these barriers to entry, and therefore, have the potential to act as the bridge between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0.
Simplified and secure processes are essential to scaling Web 3.0 to billions of users across the globeespecially when it comes to appealing to those who are intimidated by crypto. The more Web 3.0 mirrors Web 2.0 in terms of functionality, the more likely it is that Web 3.0 will be adopted.
Right now, while DIDs are still nascent, they have an incredible amount of potential in terms of improving the Web 3.0 user experience, driving forward increased levels of adoption and improving security.
In the coming years, there’s no question that individuals everywhere will see the impact of DIDs and how they’ll improve the way the underlying fabric of the internet itself operates.
JP Bedoya, chief product officer at Civic, is a seasoned product leader. He previously served as head of product design at The Climate Corporation, overseeing product experience and user research, and Vice President of product at LifeLock, where he oversaw consumer products, new member acquisition and new product development.
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