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Shaky case made by a vendor about huge market value for self-sovereign IDs

Shaky case made by a vendor about huge market value for self-sovereign IDs

It is hard to know what to make of a new white paper that values the total addressable market for self-sovereign identification at $550 billion annually.

The report was funded by cheqd, a startup building networks on which to securely exchange digital ID data. It was also co-written by cheqd’s CEO, Fraser Edwards, and a cheqd marketing and communications advisor.

Its conclusions are based on a meta-analysis of dozens of third-party reports and articles, but the collection feels cherrypicked to produce big numbers. The result feels a little squishy. For instance, the authors never say whether the market value that they arrive at is global.

Many supporting statistics about submarkets involve worldwide assumptions and totals so it is safe to assume that the $550 billion total is global as well. But other points are similarly vague or obscured by too many figures.

Cheqd‘s white paper opens with a graphic saying that the cost of ID theft in the United States was $712.4 billion in 2020 and that during the same year, the cost of debit and credit card ID theft in the United Kingdom was £29.7 million.

Clearly, the UK number is a subset of ID theft, but why juxtapose the otherwise disparate figures?

The company’s overall assertions very well may be accurate, but confidence is lessened by fuzziness.

And the report tries to make at least one report by daisy-chaining data from many organizations like a lengthy algebra equation. Any one assumption could prove unreliable, and the argument would disintegrate.

The authors helpfully point out that a know-your-customer (KYC) trial by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority used self-sovereign IDs to deploy the National Healthcare Service staff passport, and SSI architecture is used in the International Air Transport Association Travel Pass.

They say that Twitter and Salesforce are integrating SSI. Interested national governments include those of the United States, the European Commission, Canada and Australia as well.

Of course, self-sovereign IDs seem custom made for many trends today. Giving central control of a person’s biometric and other personal data to that person addresses growing distrust of centralized government and business authority.

But nodes on the Internet of Things can also be given control of its essential information, too. And organizations themselves can be users of self-sovereign IDs.

Digital items in the metaverse, today just a bud, could also be assigned a self-sovereign ID, according to the authors.

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