In the rapidly evolving landscape of decentralized digital identity, Verifiable Credentials (VCs) have emerged as a promising solution with the potential to revolutionize how we manage and share personal information securely.

A recent survey study conducted by our team in Q4 2023 sought to explore the experiences, perceptions, and challenges surrounding VCs among a diverse group of participants, shedding light on the current state of adoption, maturity, and future prospects for this transformative technology.

"As someone deeply involved in driving digital innovation, I see Verifiable Credentials as pivotal in reshaping how we authenticate and secure digital identities, paving the way for a more trustworthy and efficient digital ecosystem."

– Kai Wagner, Head of Products & Partners

One striking aspect of our study was the profile of the participants. Hailing from both Swiss and international backgrounds, the majority were C-level executives and managers, all with a high level of technical expertise. This demographic composition provided a nuanced understanding of VCs, grounded in practical experience and deep domain knowledge.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the expertise of our participants, sourced from our network, the study revealed a high level of familiarity and experience with SSI (Self-Sovereign Identity) and VCs. This insider perspective allowed for well-grounded reflections on the current state of the technology and its potential implications. However, it also highlighted a potential limitation: our sample may not fully represent the broader spectrum of users who are less acquainted with these concepts.

One of the notable key findings was the low System Usability Scale (SUS) score for current wallet and agent solutions, which averaged 49.48. This stark assessment highlights a significant challenge to wider adoption – usability. While technical users may be willing to navigate complexities, mainstream users require intuitive and user-friendly interfaces to fully embrace these innovations.

In unpacking the challenges facing VC solutions, our study identified several key areas of concern. Regulatory uncertainties, interoperability issues, and resistance to change emerged as prominent barriers to adoption. Addressing these challenges will require collaboration across sectors and concerted efforts to establish standards and frameworks that promote interoperability and compliance.

Despite these obstacles, the sentiment towards VCs remains overwhelmingly positive among our respondents. They recognize the potential of VCs to enhance trust, security, and efficiency in digital transactions, heralding a future where personal data is managed and shared in a decentralized and secure manner. This optimism underscores the transformative potential of VCs and the importance of continued investment and innovation in this space.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of decentralized digital identity and Verifiable Credentials, this development holds immense promise as a foundational technology for the future. With the uptake of these key concepts and new regulation around the world from the European Union to Switzerland or Bhutan, we already see great potential for adoption.

However, our survey participants highlighted throughout that this will require addressing the challenges of usability, interoperability, and regulatory compliance. By leveraging insights from studies like ours, we can chart a course towards a more secure, trustworthy, and inclusive digital ecosystem powered by Verifiable Credentials.

In conclusion, our study offers a glimpse of the current state of VCs and sheds light on the exciting opportunities and challenges ahead. By fostering collaboration, innovation, and dialogue, we can unlock the full potential of VCs and welcome a new era of digital identity and authentication.

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