Getting Started

April 29, 2019

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through how GitHub DID works.

DID Method

At the core a DID is the method. its the process that helps resolve the identifier that looks like did:method:123 to the document which is JSON-LD and contains the publicKey and service properties.

GitHub DID is experimental and supports a couple different formats for methods.

Username DIDs

They look like this (Case Sensitive):

did:github:OR13

The resolver knows to convert this string to this url:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/OR13/ghdid/master/index.jsonld

So long as index.jsonld is a properly formatted DID Document, did:github:OR13 is a valid DID.

Managing DID Documents

DID Documents can be signed with a proof property or not. The keys and services listed are up the the controller, and you can create a DID Document simply by copying one of the examples above and updating the id property and keys.

The entire security of this method relies on Github. Obviously, Github can censor, revoke, tamper or delete DIDs, which makes this method a “Centralized DID” or “Weak DID”, the terminology is still evolving, you can see a healthy debate here.

Managing Keys

Private keys associated with public keys listed in a document can be managed by various methods including, GPG, custom wallet systems, vaults or cloud based key management systems. Its obviously critical that private keys remain private, and that public keys are revoked (removed from documents), if private keys are compromised.

Conclusion

You should now understand how to create a GitHub DID, using Github.com’s built in UI and the examples provided

To learn how to use github-did’s custom test wallet and cli to manage keys, and create documents, head over to the using the cli