XDI.org launched in 2000 to promote the concept of individuals owning their own digital identity and data based on a nascent technology being produced by two Technical Committees at OASIS: XRI (Extensible Resource Identifier) and XDI (Extensible Data Interchange).  We launched the first digital identifier registry in 2006 that enabled people and organizations to register their own identifiers for personal authentication and other services.

After the XRI Technical Committee merged its work into the XDI Technical Committee in 2010, the XDI.org registry was relaunched under the latest XDI specifications to enable registrants to not only own their identifiers, but to also exert control over their digital data exchanged using the XDI semantic data interchange protocol.

The XDI.org registry has always been designed under the model of “minimum viable centralization”, with the registry’s primary role being to host a discoverable identifier that is bound to an XDI endpoint—a data repository that “speaks” the XDI protocol. The XDI endpoints themselves can be fully decentralized and hosted however the registrant chooses—for example:

  • Self-hosted on a registrant’s own servers or devices.
  • Hosted on a server in a co-location facility under the control of the registrant.
  • Hosted by an XDI service provider of the registrant’s choice.

This model of decentralized XDI endpoints discoverable via a common registry service is the same model used by today’s global Internet SMTP email service. With XDI, this model will extend to peer-to-peer semantic data exchange between people, organizations and things.

Over the past few years, several new and innovative technologies have made it technically possible to decentralize even the registry component, i.e., the last piece of the puzzle. In keeping with the mandate of minimum viable centralization, the feedback of the XDI community has been strongly supportive of taking this step.

XDI.org has listened and its Board of Trustees has chartered the XDI Registry Working Group to design the next generation of the registry that will fully decentralized this function.This task force of industry experts will evaluate the available technologies and recommend a plan for the new decentralized XDI registry.

In support of this process, XDI.org is currently transitioning the registry service that has been operated under contract to XDI.org’s own operation. This requires that registration of new cloud names and cloud numbers to be temporarily halted. It will also require a short-term interruption in resolution services for existing registrations by the current active registrars (1ID.com, FullXRI, and Respect Network).

If you have registered a cloud name and cloud number, be assured that even though there will be a period during which you will not be able to access and use it, your registration continues to be valid, and service will resume as soon as the transitional registry is operational. Registration of new cloud names and numbers should resume soon afterwards.