Decentralized Identifier Working Group Charter

The mission of the Decentralized Identifier Working Group is two-fold. First, it will maintain the Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) specification and related Working Group Notes. Second, it will seek consensus around the best way to achieve effective interoperability through common requirements, algorithms, architectural options, and various considerations for the DID resolution and DID URL dereferencing processes.

Join the Decentralized Identifier Working Group.

Start date 25 April 2024
End date 28 April 2026
Chairs Will Abramson (Digital Contract Design), Daniel Burnett (Invited Expert), Gabe Cohen (Block, Inc)
Team Contact Pierre-Antoine Champin (0.1 FTE)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: On an as-needed basis, up to once every week.
Face-to-face: We may meet during TPAC.

Motivation and Background

The Working Group will maintain the DID specification, which defines a new type of identifier that enables verifiable, decentralized digital identity. This includes possible class 1, 2, or 3 level changes on the Recommendation.

The Working Group will also take over the work started by the Credentials Community Group around DID Resolution, to define common requirements, algorithms including their inputs and results, architectural options, and various considerations for the DID resolution and DID URL dereferencing processes.

It is expected that these two goals will be taken by distinct task forces in the WG.

The Working Group must pursue consensus in any task pursued under the name of the working group--whether by Chairs, Editors, or other contributors--including any Notes for publication by the WG and any Charters for a future DID WG.


Beyond the maintenance of the Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v1.0 specification, the following, non-normative Working Group Notes will also be maintained by the Working Group:

The Working Group may also publish new Working Group Notes. Any additional notes beyond those explicitly listed in the deliverable section will not include DID Method specifications and will not address issues regarding any particular DID Methods. The WG welcomes DID Method standardization outside the WG (whether in the W3C or in other standards bodies).

Out of Scope

The following features are out of scope, and will not be addressed by this Working group.

  • Class 4 level changes on the DID specification.
  • Authentication or Authorization Protocols
  • Browser APIs
  • "Solving Identity" on the Web


Updated document status is available on the group publication status page.

Normative Specifications

The Working Group will maintain the following W3C normative specification:

Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v1.0

This specification defines new type of identifier that enables verifiable, decentralized digital identity.

Draft State: Recommendation

Expected completion: not applicable (maintenance)

Adpoted Draft: Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v1.0,, published 2022-07-19

Exclusion Draft: Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) v1.0,, published 2021-06-15. Exclusion period began 2021-06-15, ended 2021-08-14.

Exclusion Draft Charter:

Decentralized Identifier (DID) Resolution and DID URL Dereferencing v1.0

This document specifies the algorithms and guidelines for resolving DIDs and dereferencing DID URLs.

Draft State: Draft Community Group Report

Expected completion: 28 April 2026

Adopted Draft: DID Resolution v0.3,, published 2023-01-18, may serve as a starting point.

Other Deliverables

DID Specification Registries

Status: Group Note
Last update: 2021-11-02

The Working Group Note will be transitioned to a W3C Registry.

DID Method Rubric

Status: Group Note
Last update: 2021-11-19

The Working Group Note will be transitioned to a W3C Registry.

The Plain CBOR representation

Status: Group Note
Last update: 2021-06-26

DID Implementation Guide v1.0

Status: Group Note
Last update: 2021-10-12

Success Criteria

In order to advance to Proposed Recommendation or to incorporate candidate amendments, each normative specification is expected to have at least two independent interoperable implementations of every feature defined in the specification, where interoperability can be verified by passing open test suites, and two or more implementations interoperating with each other. In order to advance to Proposed Recommendation, each normative specification must have an open test suite of every feature defined in the specification.

In order for DID Resolution to advance to Proposed Recommendation, it is expected that each of the independent implementations mentioned above support at least two DID methods which 1) have an open specifications (freely available specification, freely implementable), and 2) are implemented interoperably by more than one of the independent implementations mentioned above. This means that there will exist at least two openly-specified DID methods that are each implemented by at least two independent implementations.

There should be testing plans for each specification, starting from the earliest drafts.

To promote interoperability, all changes made to specifications in Candidate Recommendation or to features that have deployed implementations should have tests.

Each specification should contain sections detailing security and privacy implications for implementers, Web authors, and end users, as well as recommendations for mitigations. There should be a clear description of the residual risk to the user or operator of that protocol after threat mitigation has been deployed.

This Working Group expects to follow the TAG Web Platform Design Principles.


For all specifications, this Working Group will seek horizontal review for accessibility, internationalization, performance, privacy, and security with the relevant Working and Interest Groups, and with the TAG. Invitation for review must be issued during each major standards-track document transition, including FPWD. The Working Group is encouraged to engage collaboratively with the horizontal review groups throughout development of each specification. The Working Group is advised to seek a review at least 3 months before first entering CR and is encouraged to proactively notify the horizontal review groups when major changes occur in a specification following a review.

Additional technical coordination with the following Groups will be made, per the W3C Process Document:

W3C Groups

Verifiable Credentials Working Group
Coordination on the use of Decentralized Identifiers in Verifiable Credential ecosystems.
Web Authentication Working Group
Coordination to ensure that Web Authentication primitives, such as public keys, can be expressed in DID Documents.
Credentials Community Group
Coordination on the use of Decentralized Identifiers in various ecosystems including Linked Data Integrity and Encrypted Data Vaults.
Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group
Coordination on the use of Decentralized Identifiers in helping to enable greater accessibility on the web.

External Organizations

IETF Security Area Directorate
Coordination with IETF regarding the management of security reviews on the DID specification.
IRTF Crypto Forum Research Group
Discussion, analysis, and review of the cryptographic aspects of the DID specification.
DIF Identifiers & Discovery Working Group
Coordination with DIF regarding various open-source implementations of DIDs as well as additional specification work.


To be successful, this Working Group is expected to have 6 or more active participants for its duration, including representatives from the key implementors of this specification, and active Editors and Test Leads for each specification. The Chairs, specification Editors, and Test Leads are expected to contribute half of a working day per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

The group encourages questions, comments and issues on its public mailing lists and document repositories, as described in Communication.

The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration upon their agreement to the terms of the W3C Patent Policy.

Participants in the group are required (by the W3C Process) to follow the W3C Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.


Technical discussions for this Working Group are conducted in public: the meeting minutes from teleconference and face-to-face meetings will be archived for public review, and technical discussions and issue tracking will be conducted in a manner that can be both read and written to by the general public. Working Drafts and Editor's Drafts of specifications will be developed in public repositories and may permit direct public contribution requests. The meetings themselves are not open to public participation, however.

Information about the group (including details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants, and meetings) will be available from the Decentralized Identifier Working Group home page.

Most Decentralized Identifier Working Group teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis.

This group primarily conducts its technical work on the public mailing list ( archive) or on GitHub issues (and specification-specific GitHub repositories and issue trackers). The public is invited to review, discuss and contribute to this work.

The group may use a Member-confidential mailing list for administrative purposes and, at the discretion of the Chairs and members of the group, for member-only discussions in special cases when a participant requests such a discussion.

Decision Policy

This group will seek to make decisions through consensus and due process, per the W3C Process Document (section 5.2.1, Consensus). Typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress and consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs may call for a group vote and record a decision along with any objections.

To afford asynchronous decisions and organizational deliberation, any resolution (including publication decisions) taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference will be considered provisional. A call for consensus (CfC) will be issued for all resolutions (for example, via email, GitHub issue or web-based survey), with a response period from one week to 10 working days, depending on the chair's evaluation of the group consensus on the issue. If no objections are raised by the end of the response period, the resolution will be considered to have consensus as a resolution of the Working Group.

All decisions made by the group should be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available or unless reopened at the discretion of the Chairs or the Director.

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Process Document (Section 5.2.3, Deciding by Vote) and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (Version of 15 September 2020). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Web specifications that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the licensing information.


This Working Group will use the W3C Software and Document license for all its deliverables.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 3.4 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Charter History

The following table lists details of all changes from the initial charter, per the W3C Process Document (section 4.3, Advisory Committee Review of a Charter):

Charter Period Start Date End Date Changes
Initial Charter September 2019 September 2021 none
Update Changed an erroneous link to the publication status page (Ivan Herman, 2020-01-24)
Update Daniel Burnett re-appointed as group co-Chair (Xueyuan Jia, 2020-07-24)
Rechartered 15 December 2020 September 2021 New Patent Policy
Update FTE value update for staff contact: 0.2 reduced to 0.15 (2021-06)
Extension 1 October 2021 31 December 2021 none
Extension 31 December 2021 30 June 2022 none
Update Added Pierre-Antoine Champin as staff contact (Ivan Herman, 2022-01-12)
Extension 30 June 2022 31 December 2022 none
Update (1) Brent Zundel's affiliation changed to Avast; (2) Ivan Herman is no longer staff contact (Ivan Herman, 2022-07-19)
Extension 15 December 2022 31 March 2023 none
Extension 30 March 2023 31 May 2023 none
Extension 31 May 2023 30 September 2023 none
Rechartered 25 April 2024 28 April 2026 Adopt DID Resolution as a new REC track deliverable.
Update New co-chair Will Abramson (Pierre-Antoine Champin, 2024-06-21)