Using Sovrin for Age Verification


How can I use Sovrin to perform age verification to minimize the personal data I have to keep? This blog post discusses the basics.

Under 25? Please be prepared to show proof of age when buying alcohol

Kamea, a member of the Sovrin Telegram channel asked this question:

I’m looking for our users to sign up with a Sovrin account, validate their identity, then use it to verify age and passport country on our network using a zk proof so we don’t have to handle any personal data.

There are actually two different things here and it's useful to separate them.

First, there's no such thing as a "Sovrin account". SSI doesn't have accounts, it has relationships and credentials. But your company will have accounts. The way that works is you set up an enterprise agency on your side to create a relationship (technically a peer DID exchange) with anyone who wants to create an account with you. After they establish that relationship, you can begin to collect attributes you need to provide service. Some of those will be self asserted and some you might require credentials depending on your use case.

The second thing is determining which credentials you want to require. If your requirement is an attested proof of age, then there could be several choices. In an ideal world, people would have a number of those (e.g. national ID, drivers license, passport, bank KYC, etc.) In the current world, you might have to partner with someone like Onfido or another KYC company do give people a way to get their age verified and a credential to use in proving it. Once people have this credential, however, it gives them the means of proving their age (and likely other attributes) anywhere, not just to you.

Kamea mentioned the desire to avoid handling personal data and this is a good solution for that. The proof would record that the person was over 18 and their country of residence without seeing or recording any other information.

I recommend running through the demo at to see how all this could work. There are a number of vendors who can supply help with enterprise agencies and consulting on how to set this up in your organization.

Photo Credit: Under 25? Please be prepared to show proof of age when buying alcohol from Gordon Joly (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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