Kilt is a blockchain-based network enabling revocable and verifiable credentials.
The internet has evolved from passive user interaction (Web 1.0) to active users (Web 2.0), with Web 3.0 being the latest. The new version allows search engines to shift from keywords to understand the meaning of words. It’s this web version that powers things like artificial intelligence (AI), web-based 3D graphics, and increased connectivity using metadata.
Unfortunately, the more use cases there are, the more the data monopoly, thus keeping internet users further from their data. With the growing usage of distributed ledger technology (DLT) such as blockchain technology, projects such as Kilt are keen on weakening data monopolies to put data control back to their users.
Kilt is a project by BOTLabs under the leadership of Ingo Rübe who is also the founder. Ingo has a background in computer science. The protocol is born to enable data sovereignty among internet users while using blockchain technology.
What is Kilt Protocol?
Kilt is a blockchain-based network enabling revocable and verifiable credentials. The protocol uses a claim-based approach where users can be authenticated without them having to provide their private information. With this approach, users only have to give the information once, and applications can access it without making individual and frequent requests to the user after.
For Kilt, an entity or object identity can be derived from their attributes, traits, and characteristics. However, to ensure a user, entity, or object has full control, the platform assumes what it calls ‘self-sovereign data and identity.’
This allows individual control of key aspects of personal data. This includes things like registration, creation, encryption keys, and sharing of data.
How Kilt Powers ‘Self-Sovereign Data and Identity’
To bring everything together, the protocol uses a tiered approach with three roles – Claimer, Attester, and Verifier.
A Claimer can also be called the creator and can be an object, individual, or organization. Kilt uses the word Claimer because the entity claims that the information provided is theirs.
A claim is preserved in the Claimer’s wallet together with a decentralized identifier and has an extensively defined structure known as CTYPE (Claim Type). To prove ownership, the Claimer has to sign the claim using the decentralized identifier.
Think of an Attester as a trusted party that validates claims. Since not everything a Claimer provides may be right, it’s the work of the Attester to give an attestation after receiving and validating a claim. Signed reports are sent back to Claimers.
However, a Claimer can directly request an Attester to confirm their claims. Once attested, the information is stored with the Claimer as credentials.
An Attester is paid by the Claimer using Kilt coins (more on Kilt tokens later). Note that Attesters need to be trusted by Claimers and Verifiers by doing the real work of validating claims. Otherwise, no one in the network will want to do business with them, leading to business loss.
A Claimer can settle on a preferred Attester based on price, supported credential types, speed, trust score, etc.
The Verifier is the third, but an equally important level of the Kilt ecosystem. They link Claimers with attesters by creating a demand in the chain. A verifier receives credentials from a Claimer to verify the claims.
For example, a passport holder can be thought of as the Claimer, the issuing government as the Attester, and the border control office as the Verifier.
Kilt and Polkadot
Polkadot, a decentralized platform powering inter-chain exchange of information, powers a Kilt parachain. With both targeting to become key building blocks of Web 3.0, they provide a standard for organizations, persons, AI, and objects to share validated and verified data. In addition, by connecting to the Polkadot ecosystem, Kilt hopes to boost its security.
The network has a native currency called KILT Coin. Currently, the platform has Mash Coins, which are usable on the network’s testnet called MashNet.
However, Mash Coins won’t be transferable or functional on the mainnet, which will be called SpiritNet. KILTs will be available in the last quarter of 2020. Mobile storage of the coins is provided on Sporran, a demo mobile wallet.
Uses of KILT
- Distributing block rewards to validators.
- Contributing to network security.
- Paying gas fees. etc.
How to access the Kilt platform
The network provides different ways for developers and other users to get into the system.
Developers can leverage the power of the platform via the Kilt software development kit (SDK). Kilt’s SDK is aligned with everything the platform has to offer. As such, developers can build powerful apps without having a deeper understanding of decentralized technology.
Additionally, the SDK presents an outline in case developers need to build a personalized SDK implementation for the network. The SDK is written in a language (Typescript) compatible with browsers, backend, mobile, and a host of other platforms.
Organizations and Individuals
Other users can use existing full nodes or deploy their own to access the Kilt platform. Note that Kilt is open source and can be cloned to create a new protocol without ties to the network. The clone can either be a permissionless or a permissioned platform.
For transaction validators, the platform is currently using Proof of Authority (PoA); therefore, it is not possible to provide staking services. However, Kilt plans to shift to Proof of Stake (PoS) that will power staking nodes.
Note that exploring transactions on the Kilt network can be done using either Telemetry, which gives a general overview of the platform, or using Chain Explorer, for viewing events and transactions.
With Web 3.0 taking center stage in the evolution of the internet, data monopoly is yet to be solved. Therefore, the introduction of blockchain-based systems like Kilt presents an opportunity for internet users to take back control of their data. Using a Claimer, Attester, and Verifier model, it’s easy to enable a claim-based ecosystem where an internet user has complete control of their data.