HomeBlockchainSecuring Credentials: Dhiway CTO & Founder Satish Mohan On How MARK Studio Uses Blockchain To Transform Credentialing

Securing Credentials: Dhiway CTO & Founder Satish Mohan On How MARK Studio Uses Blockchain To Transform Credentialing



In an interview with TechGraph, Satish Mohan, Founder & CTO of Dhiway discusses how its blockchain-based MARK Studio platform secures business through efficient digital credentials management, eliminating traditional paper-based drawbacks.

Read the complete interview:

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TechGraph: Can you provide an overview of Dhiway MARK Studio? How is Dhiway leveraging blockchain technology to offer businesses and sectors digital credentials?

Satish Mohan: #MARK Studio from Dhiway is a credentialing platform that enables organizations to rapidly design, issue, and manage Digitally Verifiable Credentials for knowledge, skilling and training, capacity building, and workplace operations. The CORD blockchain application comes with a portfolio of templates that ease the design process. It creates operation workflows well integrated into existing processes.

Credentials and digital records are all-pervading – every organization issues a number of them. The traditional approach is to adopt paper credentials or provide a copy in a portable document format (PDF) standard. #MARK Studio is designed to represent data in any desired presentation format while ensuring that the data payload is cryptographically secured against tampering. It enables near-instantaneous verification of the record globally at a population scale handling high transaction volumes. #MARK Studio digital records or credentials are anchored on the CORD blockchain. Therefore, the record carries more capabilities than a simple digitized record.

TechGraph: What specific challenges or pain points do businesses and sectors face when it comes to managing and verifying traditional paper-based credentials? How does Dhiway address these challenges?

Satish Mohan: Traditional paper-based credentials suffer from three key challenges which create a poor experience for the holder/recipient and the verifier of such records. Paper is prone to be damaged and so the speed of verification can be affected, records on paper can also be tampered with even when the paper contains many security features (the consequent impact is also to increase the per unit cost of paper consumed) and lastly, paper records almost always require the verifier to reach out to the issuer to determine the authenticity of the data record. This makes paper credentials cumbersome and expensive.

Dhiway has focused on ensuring absolute certainty around the data represented by any record. To achieve this, the data is cryptographically anchored on the blockchain and publicly available as a digitally verifiable credential.

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The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed the specification for verifiable credentials which ensures that when cryptographically encrypted data is represented digitally – it can be secure, portable, tamper-resistant, and instantaneously verifiable. And so while the data might be represented in paper format when required – the actual record exists in a digitally signed format and so in case of damage to the physical records loss can be mitigated.

TechGraph: Could you help our readers understand the concept of blockchain-based digital credentials and how they differ from traditional credentials? What advantages do they offer businesses and sectors?

Satish Mohan: Verifiable Credentials which are anchored on the CORD blockchain are developed around a specification from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Verifiable Credentials (VCs) are digitally verifiable credentials representing a specific data record. So, the data representing a graduation certificate or diploma can be transformed into a cryptographically signed verifiable credential and anchored on the blockchain. This can then be electronically shared and validated nearly instantaneously.

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There are three key roles in a workflow involving data records or credentials – the Issuer of the record; the Holder or Recipient of the record; and the Verifier of the record. In a traditional or legacy workflow the issuer of the record generates a paper credential which is then made available to the holder.

During any interaction where verification of the record is required, the holder presents a copy of the record along with an original (if desired) and the verifier then has to determine whether the record presented is correct, authentic, and integrity-preserving. Often this requires the verifier to contact the issuer and go through a cumbersome process to determine the authenticity of the record.

Verifiable Credentials change the status quo. The Issuer can manage and issue a large number of digital credentials and each recipient can have a secure digital portfolio of their accomplishments. Upon request the Recipient can consent to share the required credential and the Verifier does not need to contact the Issuer to determine authenticity. The application of cryptography and anchoring on the blockchain provides the necessary inputs for verification to be undertaken.

In this streamlined approach, the recipient can also combine various credentials to create customized proofs for Verifiers. The high level of data assurance enabled through Digitally Verifiable Credentials is based on capabilities that demonstrate the issuer of the credential, the recipient of the credential, and whether data integrity has been maintained through the credential lifecycle. This information triad makes data exchanges more trustworthy and better.

By leveraging W3C VC, CORD allows for the issuance, verification, and presentation of verifiable credentials. This enhances trust and enables secure digital interactions. Verifiable credentials provide a portable and tamper-proof way to share and authenticate digital information, making them invaluable in various use cases such as identity verification, access control, and data sharing.

TechGraph: How does Dhiway ensure privacy and data protection for individuals and organizations using your platform? Are there any measures in place to prevent unauthorized access or tampering with digital credentials?

Satish Mohan: The CORD blockchain provides an immutable data store for persistent identifiers that represent records. Unlike traditional blockchain implementations which rely on data hashes, persistent identifiers offer an auditable way to view the complete history and state of the associated data.

The identifiers remain the same over a period even when the underlying data changes – this provides an accurate and trustworthy record of transformations. Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) are a fundamental component of CORD, offering a powerful mechanism for creating and managing unique, self-owned identifiers. DIDs enable individuals, organizations, and entities to control their digital identities decentralized.

To manage access to verifiable credentials, issuers have several options available to them. As the history of changes to the records is transparently available on the chain it is also possible to undertake audit flows and determine whether the data integrity of the credential is intact.

TechGraph: What industries or sectors can benefit from adopting blockchain-based digital credentials? How Dhiway streamlines credential management processes for businesses or sectors?

Satish Mohan: Today data flows are an integral part of all businesses and sectors. Businesses grapple with poor data quality, provenance-less data, and incorrect data records. The cost of doing business increases as a result of all this. Data streams that are anchored on a blockchain such as CORD provide a scalable way for organizations to view data as streams, credentials, and payloads. These streams are used in analytical applications within a business.

Disintermediation of the status quo is a key component of streamlining credentials management. With a large number of interconnected pieces in any organization’s workflows, the ability to have digitally verifiable credentials – which are easily read and reviewed in machine-to-machine interactions – is important to the speed of transactions. We have benchmarked our products for a high volume of data issuance and verification and continue to push the boundaries of scale.

All businesses are essentially “a business of information technology and data” and so we see more organizations switching to verifiable credentials and persistent digital identifiers to augment their data governance strategies. And while the education and skills area are low-hanging fruit and have been the starting point for this transformation we anticipate that the growth will come from sectors such as logistics, supply chain, healthcare, and industries among others – industries that have complex vendor/supplier relationships.

By embracing W3C VC and DIDs, CORD extends its capabilities and fosters a more interconnected and trust-enhancing environment. This integration enables developers to leverage standardized, interoperable technologies while building innovative applications and services.

TechGraph: Are there any regulatory or compliance considerations organizations need to know when using blockchain-based digital credentials? How does Dhiway support organizations in meeting these requirements?

Satish Mohan: Our products and services comply with existing regulations around data governance and information security. Additionally, as revised regulations are anticipated, we have considered the requirements. We have ensured that we deal with personally identifiable information (PII) and sensitive information (SI) in a manner consistent with what is currently being discussed.

Digital transformation is the ability to identify and manage risks associated with data governance. Blockchain-anchored verifiable credentials help organizations address and mitigate several risks associated with the origin and source of data, the tracking of changes and modifications made to the data, and the ability to selectively share information instead of an “all or nothing” design.

It is pertinent to remember that the blockchain contains persistent digital identifiers which represent data. Thus, the blockchain itself has no data elements which would create needless risk for any organization. This is particularly critical given the importance of data privacy today and the potential legal risks attached to its compromise.

Another very significant attribute is that we are the only tokenless Blockchain Platform globally. Companies that use this platform, therefore, find the FIAT currency basis of pricing very helpful from the point of view of regulatory cleanliness, clarity of pricing, and consistency of pricing. This consequently helps companies that use the platform to plan better and provide their customers with an increased degree of certainty along with additional capabilities.

TechGraph: Can you discuss the scalability and interoperability of Dhiway’s platform? How does it accommodate diverse businesses and sectors with different credentialing requirements?

Satish Mohan: Credentialing is a way of representing a set of data points. Thus, the CORD blockchain-anchored digitally verifiable credentials are capable of representing a variety of information using the digital trust mark (#MARK).

#MARK Studio – our credentialing platform is available with several templates illustrating possible credentials relating to skills and knowledge, workplace operations, employment and livelihood, product and product inventory, and more. The “batteries included” approach to #MARK Studio makes it easy for any organization to sign-up, design a set of templates for the credentials and start issuing them.

Verifiable Credentials created on #MARK Studio can be stored electronically as well as traditionally as printed records with a trust mark #MARK to enable verification. The platform also offers API end-points to integrate with existing systems such as learning management systems (LMS), payroll and HR systems, or ERP/CRM systems. The organization can then create integrated workflows that issue digitally verifiable records at a population scale.

TechGraph: Looking ahead, what are your future plans or roadmap for Dhiway? Are there any upcoming features or enhancements to look forward to?

Satish Mohan: We are on the cusp of enabling sectors with data assurance and authenticity at scale. Through the flow of data across ecosystem boundaries, the true value of data can be realized. And as data exchanges become more automated through machine-to-machine interactions it is necessary to enable systems with efficient means to determine provenance. Our authentic data platform is designed to deploy large-scale registries of data which can be referred to by the persistent digital identifiers.

Authenticated data flows are integral to digital trust ecosystems and economies of scale are possible only when multiple such ecosystems participate in data exchanges. We are working with multiple stakeholders – both government and private – to build lighthouse deployments that showcase the potential of changing the status quo and adopting the tenets that power a digital India. Some of the interesting projects we are currently involved in are in the domain of AI/ML. In these projects, the fidelity of the underlying data streams is extremely critical to the success of the outputs generated.

Our current engagements span Digital Commerce, Digital Payments, Skills, Workplace, and Education. In each of these areas, we continue to interact with key industry players and established standards framework establishments to ensure that our market offering meets the requirements and lays the groundwork for robust platform capabilities. We are deploying a standardized wallet – which will address a long-felt integration requirement in this space. Dhiway fulfills a long-held desire of their customers to use the Blockchain and its technology as a productivity enhancer for their offerings to their customers.

The company was largely bootstrapped when it was founded. It raised its Bridge/Pre-seed round in October 2022. We will raise capital in the short term for many of the initiatives we have explained. The money raised will be used for hiring/developing team members, marketing, and technology. We will also provide seeding support to entities driving various applications on the CORD blockchain platform. We expect to close the raise by the mid of August 2023.


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Krishna Mali
Krishna Mali
Founder, CEO & Group Editor of TechGraph.

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