Sovrin (Sovrin Network from the Sovrin Foundation) enables a flexible, decentralized means of exchanging credentials that can be Authenticated.

Credential exchange is enabled by a Peer-to-peer network of software Sovrin Agents that operate on behalf of and under the control of the person or Organizational Entity they represent. People and organizations can use their Sovrin Agent to issue, hold, and verify credentials using peer-to-peer connections. When a person uses a credential to prove something about themselves to a Relying Party, that Relying Party can:

  • verify the credential is valid
  • know who issued the credential,
  • check that it hasn’t been revoked
by using a Distributed Ledger Technology that makes this information available to anyone.

Sovrin Structure #

Sovrin Foundation#

Sovrin Foundation is the sponsor of the Hyperledger Indy open source project. The Sovrin Network runs code from Hyperledger Indy.

Evernym INC.#

Evernym INC. and other organizations build products that run on the Sovrin Network. For example, Evernym INC. is building the Connect.me Digital Wallet for use with Sovrin and a commercial enterprise-grade verifiable credentialing system called Verity. The Government Entity of British Columbia is building software to use Sovrin credentials for business licensing. These commercial organizations also provide services, like agencies, to the Sovrin community. Developers at these organizations contribute code to Hyperledger Indy.

Hyperledger Indy#

Hyperledger Indy houses the open source code for the Sovrin Network and provides collaboration services for Sovrin, Evernym INC., and others working on Hyperledger Indy code. Hyperledger Indy relies on volunteer contributions from the Sovrin Community.

Sovrin Community #

Sovrin Community supports and is supported by the Sovrin Foundation, contributes to Hyperledger Indy, and provides services to or uses services from the various software vendors and agencies.


All identity information is separated into individual attributes, such as BirthDate, first name, street, pseudonyms, frequent flier numbers, etc.

To access, login to, or prove something, present only the attributes necessary and nothing else, such as "over 21" without sharing your actual birthday.

This optimizes privacy, as those receiving your attributes have no way of correlating them with unshared attributes such as your name.

Attributes have one or more attestations attached to prove authenticity, Digitally Signed by the individual or relevant third parties. (It’s one thing for you to say you have a degree; it’s quite another when the university says so.)

Self-Sovereign Identity#

Sovereign is defined as "One that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere." If an identity can be revoked, or the rules changed, by anyone other than its owner, it isn’t sovereign. Your control over your Sovrin identity cannot be revoked, not even by Evernym. The Sovrin platform itself is also sovereign, as it is controlled by consent of its independently owned and operated nodes and not by Evernym or anyone or anything else.


To keep nodes synchronized, Sovrin utilizes Plenum Byzantine Fault Tolerant Protocol, an advanced Distributed Consensus algorithm developed by Evernym INC.. Plenum Byzantine Fault Tolerant Protocol achieves Byzantine fault tolerance, making Sovrin robust and highly tamper-resistant. Plenum Byzantine Fault Tolerant Protocol also leverages advanced Elliptic Curve cryptography, Digitally signing and encrypting every message, end-to-end, and is more secure than current SSL/TLS protocols.

Validation on the Sovrin's ledger is based on a known set of nodes run by the Sovrin Stewards. The ledger and its governance to ensure that the ledger is public, open, and decentralized despite the presence of known validators.

Plenum Byzantine Fault Tolerant Protocol can handle thousands of transactions per second with a latency of a few seconds, compared to about 7 transactions per second with a 10-minute latency for proof-of-work protocols. Plenum Byzantine Fault Tolerant Protocol has a friction-less Open Source license, and you can see the codebase.


Some platforms are designed to be flexible, to support almost any application. Not Sovrin. Sovrin is dedicated to and engineered for a single purpose: globally trustable Self-Sovereign Identity. Sovrin gives other software, websites, blockchains, and distributed ledgers a powerful new source for identity: a universal, private, non-tracked, easy-to-use, Self-Sovereign Identity ledger that supports the entire continuum of the identity graph, from anonymity to pseudonymity to strongly proven full legal identity.


Too many companies claim to value your privacy, yet impose terms of service that let them harvest, analyze, and sell your data. With Sovrin there are no terms and conditions for you to agree to, because you’re not a "user" in the traditional sense; your identity is truly self-sovereign, and no entity in the world can read your data—even your name—without your explicit consent.

Sovrin’s sophisticated Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) make it nearly impossible for aspects of you and your identity graph to be correlated. Beyond simple Privacy Concerns, it satisfies tough regulatory requirements, protects you from identity theft, and can mean the difference between life and death for refugees or dissidents targeted by an unfriendly regime.

Public Ledger Permissioned Systems#

The "nodes" of any distributed ledger are gatekeepers of its data; they follow strict protocols to reach consent about which submitted data gets in, and which does not. Unlike Sovrin, "Permissionless System" blockchains (like Bitcoin) typically use "proof of work" to reach consent among the nodes, where anyone with a computer can serve as a node by performing the required work (solving a complex cryptographic puzzle before anyone else). These anonymous systems can have groundbreaking advantages for some applications, such as cryptocurrency.

In contrast, Sovrin utilizes a public Permissioned System distributed ledger—not a blockchain—that provides public access for identity owners while permitting only known, trusted, vetted entities to serve as nodes. This provides the greater transparency — and higher comfort level — some applications and industries require, while still not relying on any intermediary or central authority. For a thorough, authoritative discussion of this topic, see Tim Swanson’s seminal work.

Trust Framework#

The Sovrin Trust Framework is the legal foundation of the Sovrin Network as a global public utility for Self-Sovereign Identity. It is developed by the Sovrin Trust Framework Working Group, currently chaired by Sovrin trustee Drummond Reed, and each new version is approved by the Sovrin Foundation Board of Trustees to become the official set of governance documents for the operation of the Sovrin ledger.

Sovrin and Hyperledger Indy [3]#

Sovrin is a specific deployment of the Hyperledger Indy codebase. Sovrin developed the Hyperledger Indy code base as part of its mission to build a global public utility for self-sovereign identity. Sovrin Foundation contributed the code to Hyperledger under the Hyperledger Indy brand to expand the developer community and allow greater participation. But Sovrin and Indy are distinct. Sovrin is a specific, operating instance of the Hyperledger Indy code that contains identities that are interoperable at the global scale.

Sovrin Entities#

More Information#

There might be more information for this subject on one of the following: