Ontology’s Web3 Identity and Reputation Management Solutions – The New Stack


There is significant discussion in the Web3 space about the ability of blockchain-based identity and reputation management solutions to decouple user authentication from applications’ ability to know absolutely everything about you. The idea is that by giving individual users control over the data they share with a decentralized application (dApp), it restores some level of privacy lost with username-based identity management. Plus, it eliminates the unbridled data mining that happens on the web today.

In a previous post, I wrote about a solution from Hypernet Labs called Hypernet.ID, which is designed to simplify know-your-customer (KYC) integrations for dApp developers, via non-transferable NFTs. Ontology has another approach to addressing identity management challenges with its ID ONT, which is a decentralized identity application and has the ability to link multiple wallets to create cross-chain reputation for individuals.

A single identity with multiple uses

ONT ID in combination with the ONTO Wallet from Ontology are the building blocks for creating an identity as a user. This identity can be used for KYC scenarios and authorized data sharing, as a replacement for username and password-based authentication, or as a wallet connector for Web3 dApps.

In an interview with The New Stack, Erick Pinos, Americas Ecosystem Manager at Ontology, explained that the goal is to enable transparency and self-sovereignty. He said: “On the transparency side, we don’t know how our credit ratings are calculated today. There is an entire industry of professionals out there to help you understand how your credit is calculated, and even then they may just estimate a score and your score may still look different. The way the blockchain changes this is to make the score transparent. If you have an on-chain credit score or a crypto activity-based credit score, you’ll know how it’s calculated and what you need to do to improve your score.

Self-sovereignty, the second part of this model, is really about who has control over data. “The score is in your control,” Pinos said, “so when you access an app, if you want to reveal your score, you can choose whether or not to do so. The app may have rules in place that prevent you from to use it if you don’t reveal that score, but unlike the current model, you control whether it’s shared or not.

Developing with ONT ID

Ontology provides documentation on how to leverage the ONT ID for your dApp, including decentralized IDs for Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and its own Ontology blockchain. SDK documentation is available for Go and Java. The diagram below provides an overview of how the ONT ID framework is structured.

Implementing reputation in dApps

I asked Pinos what it looks like to use these decentralized identities for reputation scoring and how they work if the application ID is built on the Ontology blockchain and you want to use reputation scoring on Ethereum. “We have a protocol called Orange Protocol,” he replied. “You start with a wallet like a Metamask wallet and add a DID (decentralized identity) wallet on top of that, which allows you to create verifiable credentials, which is information signed with your private key to verify authenticity These credentials belong to you and these are the things you can show to projects that have integrated on the project side.

For developers, there is an SDK that allows individual apps and projects to determine how reputation is scored. “What we are currently working on is standardizing the data sources used to power the reputation score,” continued Pinos. “We don’t just have one score, we have a platform where projects can come and create their own models and it generates a score based on that. For example, one project may want to generate a credit score based on your loan history, while another project may only care about your asset balance. These would be two different scores.

Better DAO governance through reputation

DAOs have governance issues that can be resolved by looking beyond governance tokens as the key to voting power within the organization. Snapshot is a common dApp used by DAOs for governance. Pinos explains, “Right now there is an issue in the crypto space that most DAOs are doing token-weighted voting. The problem that stands out is that it is very plutocratic, similar to how the traditional world works with stocks. A billionaire can come in and buy a majority share and nobody can do anything about it, he can do whatever he wants. In crypto, it’s worse because the market caps are relatively small, so it’s easier for a billionaire to come in and buy the project. We need to move from that to reputation-based voting. »

Orange Protocol Reputation Studio simplifies the process of creating these more nuanced reputation-based models to structure DAO governance. Using the Orange Protocol SDK, it is possible to design models in Go or Java and use predefined datasets to establish reputation criteria, allowing to define a new influence structure based on the reputation that goes beyond holding tokens.

Pinos said it’s “a way to calculate your reputation on the channel, which is measured by your contribution with aspects such as: Are you contributing to the project? Are you a community manager? Do you send code to GitHub? With blockchain projects, it’s no longer just about the team, it’s about the community. The community contributes and everyone can help in their own way. By assigning and distributing voting power based on that, you create a system where submissions are accepted or rejected based on how contributors think about the issue.”

Work is also underway to create a drag-and-drop interface for creating Snapshot models in Reputation Studio. This is partly because there are a number of DAOs that are non-technical in nature and may not have access to developers who can implement a model from an SDK.

Like a number of other Web3 protocols and projects I’ve interviewed recently, Ontology also recently announced a grant program. If identity management or adding a reputation score to your project is part of your development plan, it might be worth taking a look.

Diagram of the ONT ID framework provided by Ontology


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