July 7, 2022 – London, UK – Crossword Cybersecurity Plc (AIM:CCS, “Crossword”, “Company” or “Group”), a cybersecurity solutions company specializing in cyber strategy and risk, is pleased to announce that its Identiproof product with verifiable credentials (VC) successfully completed its first milestone at the recently held Plugfest Jobs for the Future (JFF). Plugfest focused on making verified digital learning and employment records (LERs) more widely and securely accessible to more employers through digital wallets. Twenty companies from the US, Europe and Australasia participated in the first JFF Plugfest held on June 6, 2022.
Kryzhovanka participates in the project through participation in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Verifiable Credentials for Education Task Force (VC-EDU) initiative. Krizhovanka participated in the technical discussions and created a demo using the Identiproof iPhone wallet connected to the issuer. As a result, Identiproof successfully passed the first critical requirement of displaying certificates in a user-friendly format as verifiable credentials as defined by the Open Badges V3 standard.
JFF Plugfest plays an essential role in driving the growth of the skills-based market, which is especially important in this time of labor shortage, by allowing employees to store their LERs in digital wallets. Digital LERs are digital CVs with secure, verifiable and easily accessible records of people’s skills, education and work history.
The JFF Plugfest is organized in the US by JFF, the National LER Advisory Board, the National Executive Association, and the Brain Trust to demonstrate interoperability between W3C VC products, and is sponsored by Walmart (among others).
According to the National Executive Association, governors and state leaders in the U.S. are concerned about the current labor shortage, which is occurring at a time when so many skilled workers remain unemployed or underemployed. Skills-based approaches to recruitment and hiring can make pathways to good careers more accessible to a wider segment of the workforce and reduce inequality in the workforce by focusing on what workers can do rather than the degrees they have or powers.
Participating in JFF Plugfest and working with the Open Badges V3 standard puts Crossword and its Identiproof platform at the forefront of the market for interoperability in the education sector. With 10.8 million certificates of professional and other qualifications issued in England in the academic year 2020-2021, the education sector is one of the sectors of interest for Identiproof to support digitization and improve security through VC.
Jake Holloway, Chief Product Officer at Crossword, commented: “Identiproof is at the forefront of the credential verification sector and we are delighted to be involved in this prestigious project with leading organizations in the US. Credential verification is a critical requirement for matching skills and jobs. This is especially important in the fast-paced technology sector, where coding and programming skill sets are in high demand but are currently difficult to quickly and easily test. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition to the digitization of everything, and credential verification is one of the key areas of growth.”
David Chadwick, Crossword’s director of research and development, added: “As Crossword’s leading Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) product, Identiproof targets, among others, the professional qualifications market, demonstrating interoperability with other verifiable credential products, increasingly becoming a ‘must-have’ . customer requirement. Taking the lead in defining the technical requirements for JFF will allow Crossword to ensure that Identiproof stays ahead of the crowd.”
The JFF Plugfest has more than enough funds to reward each successful participant with at least $10K per completed Plugfest stage. Two more stages of Plugfest are planned to demonstrate credential issuance interaction and credential validation interaction. The next Plugfest is scheduled for November 2022.
Identiproof’s VC technology has a wide range of applications including digital ticketing, certificates, licenses, memberships, passports, proof of ownership and many others. It provides the central technology in applications for issuing digital certificates and documents that cannot be forged or transferred and that respect the privacy of the owners of those certificates. This is done through selective disclosure, whereby the recipient requests the minimum amount of information required by the GDPR. Identiproof is one of the first systems built according to the W3C 2019 Recommendations: Verifiable Credentials Data Model and Web Authentication (FIDO2), two new global web security standards.
Verifiable Credentials Limited, provider of Identiproof™, was acquired by Crossword in May 2021. Identiproof achieved early adoption of the W3C Verified Credentials standard thanks to Professor Emeritus David Chadwick, who was one of six co-authors and editors of the standard and a renowned expert in digital identity and verified credentials.