The Verifiable Credentials (VC) Stack

Timothy Ruff
2 min readJun 26, 2021

SSI and verifiable credentials (VCs) have spawned hundreds of startups and significant initiatives within Microsoft, IBM, Workday, Samsung, Deutsche Telekom, the entire EU, the U.S. Government, the global credit union industry, 40+ airlines, hundreds of healthcare organizations, GLEIF (international financial regulator), GS1 (global standards body for QR and bar codes), and more.

How do the various types of products and services fit together?

Which are complementary, and which are competitive?

Should the services from provider A work with those from provider B?

Will you still need provider B if you have provider A?

Without naming specific providers, “The VC Stack” is Credential Master’s attempt to develop a framework for answering these questions at the highest, simplest, non-technical level possible. It is well over a year in the making, with input from many of the world’s top experts in SSI.

The VC Stack considers VCs as the foundational building block for SSI, rather than identity, blockchain, or anything else. It organizes VCs into four essential functions: Applications, Management, Processing, and Storage.

This separation clarifies product functions and vendor roles, expands administrative capabilities, reduces vendor lock-in, lessens the impact of changes in VC standards and technology, and enables service providers to focus on what they do best.

Learn more from my recent detailed blog: We invite any and all feedback to make it better.