Why is Sovrin built on top of Indy? Why is it not fully ledger-agnostic?


#1

Greetings, everyone. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve read through the Sovrin Whitepaper and a couple of other materials I was able to find, and after finishing it, a couple of questions remain.

Most importantly: The idea to use decentralized and pseudonymous IDs seems to be realizable using any (public) distributed ledger. Why is Sovrin built on top of Indy, rather than remaining Ledger-Agnostic?

And related to this, what exactly is the advantage for Sovrin to be a permissioned chain, rather than a permissionless chain?

From the identity-perspective, building a permission-based system on top of a permissionless system is very easy, so I can only conclude that it is done to have some regulatory saying in who starts running a node. Maybe this is done to be able to use a faster consensus mechanism than the large-scale-permissionless-BFT-Consensus-algorithms we know so far, but it feels like still putting my trust into the hands of a couple of large organizations+companies, rather than not needing any trust because I can interface with the system directly.


#2

As I understand it, these are my answers:

The idea to use decentralized and pseudonymous IDs seems to be realizable using any (public) distributed ledger. Why is Sovrin built on top of Indy, rather than remaining Ledger-Agnostic?

The Sovrin network is has been built for a singular purpose, identity creation, management, and verification. Being purpose-built, the network is allowed to be optimized and managed in a more effective way.

What exactly is the advantage for Sovrin to be a permissioned chain, rather than a permissionless chain?

This is done for trust and speed. The Sovrin Foundation can help administer a more trustworthy network using the trust framework, and the network is much more efficient when only a small pool of nodes are needed to push changes to the ledger.

Keep in mind however, that reading from the ledger is public/permissionless.