In an era of digital services with large numbers of suppliers, hundreds of millions of human users and billions of connected devices, the issue of trusted identity for those suppliers, users, and devices is becoming increasingly mission critical. Being able to identify the true identity of a connected user, application, or device, in real time can mean the difference between a functioning enterprise and an enterprise shut down by malware, ransomware, or any other type of cybersecurity attack. In fact, identifying users of digital services is one of the foundations of Zero Trust, which is being mandated by more and more enterprises and even governments.
The challenge of proving one’s trusted identity has been solved in enterprises for many years by using third-party ‘centralized’ identity services. However, in digital supply chains, the chances of every participant using the same third-party identity service is increasingly small, bordering on zero. This issue has been solved for the Web3 era by standards developed at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that specify how to implement decentralized identity services, self-sovereign identity (DIDs), and verifiable credentials.
Just as MEF is a trusted decentralized facilitator of consensus-building between collaborating and competing businesses in the telecom industry, it is now itself part of a broader, multi-ecosystem, decentralized service facilitating the extension of trust boundaries to encompass every type of digital supply chain for a myriad of use cases.