One of the most promising use-cases for blockchain technology is identity management. A shared, reusable, interoperable toolkit will benefit initiatives and technologies focusing on generating, distributing, and preserving verifiable digital credentials. Hyperledger Aries is a decentralized infrastructure of resources that allows the sharing of blockchain-based data, promotes peer-to-peer communications in a variety of contexts, and encourages interoperable connectivity across different blockchains and other distributed ledger technologies (DLTs).
What is Hyperledger Aries?
Hyperledger Aries is a blockchain platform for peer-to-peer transactions. It isn’t a blockchain, and it isn’t a program. Hyperledger Aries allows the sharing of blockchain-based data, allowing for interoperable interaction between various distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and other blockchains, as well as peer-to-peer messaging in a variety of scenarios.
Hyperledger is a distributed ledger technology. Aries is a blockchain technology-based infrastructure for peer-to-peer communications. It is neither a blockchain nor a program.
It contains the following items:
A resolver is a blockchain interface layer for making and signing blockchain transactions.
A cryptographic wallet for storing cryptographic secrets and other information needed to create blockchain clients in a secure manner (the secure storage technology, not the user interface).
Off-ledger communications with clients using different transport protocols using an encrypted messaging scheme.
Using the ZKP primitives found in Ursa, and implementation of ZKP-capable W3C verifiable credentials.
Hyperledger Indy is currently incubating an implementation of the Decentralized Key Management System (DKMS) specification.
Centered on the protected messaging features mentioned earlier, a framework to create higher-level protocols and API-like use cases.
Initially, Hyperledger Aries’ generic GUI would support the Hyperledger Indy resolver. However, the interface is adaptable so that anybody can create a pluggable method using DID method resolvers like Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric, or some other DID method resolver. These resolvers will enable transfers and other data from other ledgers to be resolved.
Hyperledger Aries will also have capabilities and features not included in the Hyperledger Indy ledger, which will be completely designed and funded. With these features, the group will now create key message families to allow interoperable connections across a broad variety of blockchain technology-based identity use cases.
Hyperledger Aries aims to do the following:
For various decentralized networks or Blockchain Platform, provide code for peer-to-peer interaction, confidential management, verifiable knowledge sharing, and secure messaging.
Foster functional interoperability in favor of continuing standards works, and expand the applicability of Indy-developed solutions beyond the Hyperledger stack’s existing group components into a single, efficient enterprise solution.
Who is a part of the Hyperledger Aries Project?
The Sovrin Foundation, along with a team from the British Columbia government, is credited with being the primary contributors to this initial initiative. Various groups have shown interest in making donations or endorsing the project. Hyperledger has attracted a diverse group of participants, Blockchain experts and has proved to be a welcoming, interactive atmosphere for the community’s development. Like-minded members of the group have greeted Hyperledger Aries with enthusiasm.
Hyperledger as a variable information exchange platform
The Hyperledger Indy resolver would be supported by the Aries generic interface at first, but it is flexible enough that anybody might build a pluggable method using other DID method resolvers such as Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, or some other DID method resolver they choose. Transfers and other data from other ledgers can be resolved using these types of resolvers.
In addition, Hyperledger Aries can prepare and actively support features and capabilities that are beyond the limits of the Indy ledger. We’ve reached out to other organizations, such as Ethereum-based decentralized identity projects and those involved in the W3C, to see if they’d like to add to this codebase.
Through all of these features, the open-source ecosystem would be able to create key message families that will allow for interoperable connections across a broad range of blockchain-based identity use cases.
What is the origin of Aries?
Hyperledger Indy, which includes a resolver implementation, and Hyperledger Ursa, which it uses for cryptographic functions, are all similar to Hyperledger Aries. Ursa’s cryptographic support can be used by Aries to provide protected secret management as well as support for hardware encryption modules.
One of the key goals of this project is to make Hyperledger Indy’s client layers interoperable with other identity initiatives. For some time, Hyperledger Indy has been incubating protocol work for peer communications between identity owners, but as the programming ecosystem has expanded, it has become apparent that the reach of that work stretches beyond Indy’s capabilities for supporting other systems and networks.
With the key wallet and cryptographic code being moved to its own project, it makes sense to move the parts required to facilitate the process with them to support a standards-driven approach to prevent cross-dependencies between Indy and Aries.
What does the future hold for Aries?
Hyperledger Aries’ ultimate aim is to have a flexible range of capabilities for storing and exchanging data linked to blockchain-based identities. These features can range from safe, confidential data storage, such as private keys, to globally open data that can be viewed and accessed by anybody. The development of a safe storage solution close to the wallet available in Hyperledger Indy today is an example of such support.
A Decentralized Key Management Solution (DKMS), which will incorporate key recovery, social recovery, and wallet backup and restore features to Aries, would also be in scope for a 1.0 project update. Clients using DKMS would need a peer-to-peer interaction system, which is currently under progress within Hyperledger Indy. The DKMS documentation illustrated in the Indy-HIPE dkms concept folder will be the foundation for most of this work. This will be able to store verifiable certificate data, private keys, relationship state data, and functionality to execute operations on this data without having to retrieve it.
Blockchain professionals also hope to provide a flexible, searchable database layer that will store other related data for identity management in the future. Images, health reports, and other personal details are examples of such data.
The Hyperledger Aries and Hyperledger framework contributors plan to provide a scalable, searchable storage layer that will also store other data used for identity management in the future. Health certificates, photographs, and other sensitive documents are evidence of this.
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