Web3 ID Forum Explores the Future of Digital Identity.

On November 17, leaders from business and technology assembled in Washington, D.C. to discuss the future of digital identity at the inaugural Web3 ID Forum.

The one-day forum featured identity experts from companies such as ID.me, Trinsic, Blockchains, Inc., Lexis-Nexis, and Genubank, as well as from government, including Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) and Carole House, former Director of Cybersecurity and Secure Digital Innovation at the National Security Council.

Sessions focused on concepts such as digital identification and its ownership, centralized vs. decentralized identity solutions, and regulations and standards. Keywords of the day included privacy, security, trust, convenience, accessibility, and interoperability.

The following is a summary of the day’s sessions, along with links to on-demand videos. We hope you’ll take some time to watch or listen, and if you’re interested, sign up to stay informed of future information and events.

Welcome and introductory remarks

This session opened with a welcome and introduction by Sena Loyd, Director of Research and Public Policy at Blockchains, Inc., who introduced the goals and purpose of the Web3ID Coalition, followed by an introduction from Sarah Johnson, COO and VP for Strategy and Operations at the Data Foundation.

Sarah talked about challenges of identity verification, particularly when it comes to accessing government services, and the need for clear guidance, standards, intergovernmental coordination, and collaboration with industry.

“Government entities are uniquely positioned to develop and deliver a common standard for digital identity that can support a more inclusive, effective identity processes and a whole government approach to identification.”

Private Sector Keynote

Next was the Private Sector Keynote, “Web3 ID Technology Transforms Banking.” In this session, Hudson Hollister, a board member of the coalition, engaged in a “fireside” keynote chat with Peter Braunz, COO of Genubank in Nevada. They discussed customer experience in a Web3 ID world and the importance of taking it slow for compliance and regulatory purposes.

“We need to do a really, really good job of convincing regulators that we are going to meet and exceed the regulatory standards that are already on the books.”

Executive Branch Panel

Next was the Executive Branch Panel, “Web3 ID Pilots and Progress,” which consisted of a lively conversation between Tonya Riley from CyberScoop News and Carole House, Former Director of Cybersecurity and Secure Digital Innovation at the National Security Council. They discussed digital identity from a regulatory standpoint, touching on Know Your Customer (KYC) and the Biden Administration Identity Executive Order.

“I think interoperability is critical. You've got to have verifiable credentials and systems of trusted issuers of these credentials; obviously interoperability is key to all of that, as well as a trust framework that will actually be used and accepted.”

Private Sector Panel

In the Private Sector Panel, “Delivering Identification Innovation,” Matt Digesti, Head of Regulatory Policy from Blockchains, Inc. moderated a panel of four private-sector identity experts who discussed everything from identity technology to government policy:

  • Jon VanderPlas, ID.me
  • Kim Sutherland, LexisNexis Risk Solutions
  • Philip Shoemaker, Identity.com
  • Ben Crockett, formerly of Trinsic

Topics in this session included consumer choice policy, new technologies that the government can/should adopt, legislation that needs to be adopted in order to move toward more advanced identity solutions, privacy, benefits that innovations have on the government side, and data ownership.

“I think there's going to be a continued evolution to ensure that we can have security and privacy and build trust while still making it as convenient as possible for all users.”

Advocacy Keynote

The advocacy keynote, “Digital Security, Privacy, and Convenience for All,” featured Jeremy Grant, Coordinator, Better Identity Coalition, who admitted right from the start that what makes him an identity professional is the fact that he has made some mistakes in identity in his work history.

In his presentation, Jeremy clarified what is meant by “identity” and framed the challenges surrounding issues related to digital identity. He covered Web3 and identity and analyzed the progression and maturity of the space, referencing the early notions of self-sovereign identity. He then presented a policy blueprint containing five key initiatives:

“Identity, when done right, helps to enable trust. Identity becomes the great enabler that delivers a foundation for digital transactions and online experiences that are more secure, that are easier to use, and that can protect privacy better than what we have today if we get it right.”

Congressional Staff Panel

The Congressional Staff Panel, “Evaluating Web3 ID Policy Reforms,” which was not recorded, featured three policy-related panelists evaluating Web3 ID policy reforms, moderated by George Leonardo, Cap Hill Crypto:

  • David Dorfman, Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee
  • Chris Land, Office of Senator Cynthia Lummis
  • Tim Weiler, Office of Representative Bill Foster

Congressional Keynote

The final session of the day, the Congressional Keynote, featured Representative Bill Foster on “Improving Digital Identity for All Americans.” He outlined his history working with digital identity, as well as his vision for what digital identity can look like within the United States.

“We need, at least for federal business, to have a high-quality way to authenticate yourself as a single traceable citizen of the United States in various interactions with the government. And the fact that we don't have one leads to all kinds of mayhem and fraud.”

Closing Remarks

Sena Loyd, Director of Research and Public Policy for Blockchains, Inc. and acting director of Web3 ID Coalition, the new non-profit behind Web3 ID Forum, closed out the day with final remarks about protecting the individual’s right to privacy by giving them ownership of their digital identity.

Organizations interested in joining the Coalition to lend their voice to digital identity public policy, should reach out directly to Sena or Hudson Hollister for more information.


"All individuals have a right to privacy. The Web3 ID Coalition, our new nonprofit, believes that individuals' option to own and control their digital identity is a right that must be preserved. That's why we exist; through federal legislation targeted at refining how US government addresses digital identity. The coalition will empower individuals and businesses in the transition to a decentralized Web3 and beyond. This is just the start."


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