A meta-platform is a platform that enables and fosters participant-controlled value transfer across and among other platforms and participants; because platforms are a type of network, a meta-platform enables a network of network effects. This cooperation among platforms may be advantageous in comparison to centralized power (non-cooperation) in some contexts, particularly where a new network scaling law for meta-platforms can be argued to apply directly. An open, interoperable, portable, decentralized identity framework is a prime candidate for becoming such a meta-platform and for leveraging this aggregate network effect.
Signifcant momentum has been developing behind a universal decentralized identity system based on open standards, including the W3C-supported decentralized identifer (DID) and verifable credential (VC) standards. Associated industry groups supporting this open standard include the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), the Sovrin Foundation, and the HyperLedger Foundation projects Indy, Aries, and Ursa.
The purpose of this paper is to foster awareness of the economic benefts of cooperation and the crucial role decentralized identity may play in unleashing new sources of value creation and transfer among cooperating platforms.