KILT is a protocol designed to create, claim, issue, present, and verify anonymous credentials digitally. Other peer-to-peer solutions similar to this exist, however, what separates KILT from other projects is the self-sovereign aspect which means users are still in complete control of their data, as well as revocable credentials through the use of blockchain technology.
3 key issues with current internet solutions: security risks, monopoly, and data collection. Hacks and exploits are commonplace in the Internet world, where thousands of people's sensitive information is leaked online across forums, putting them at risk of scams, blackmailing, and the target of abuse.
The KILT protocol aims to reduce the risk by issuing credentials on-demand. Rather than a traditional solution that would then pass the users full details across the Internet, the credentials only contain certain attributes of the user, which is the attester can decide. The attester then sends credentials to the user who stores their data locally, which is usually offline, thus eliminating many risks as the data would only be at risk of localised attacks (i.e. malware, trojans).
Through this method, KILT can ensure that the user has full control over their credentials and data. An easier way to interpret it is like the real world; A citizen can request a passport, which is then issued by a trusted authority and in full control of the citizen. KILT stores a hash of the credential on the blockchain, which puts the user in a position to prove the authenticity of their documents to whoever they deem necessary (similar to the scenario where you go into a cinema to watch a 15 rated movie, and a member of staff asks for ID; you then need to prove your age and in some cases, prove it is a legitimate piece of identification).
Hashing itself is the process of taking unhashed data and then ‘translating it into another value (i.e. encryption). The hash value is then used as a ‘key’ to locate the original data. KILT only stores a copy of the hash keys, meaning the actual data is not at risk in the event of a breach and means KILT themselves do not have custody over your details. When the user wants to prove an attribute, rather than giving up their password and username, they only have to share a credential which is used to check the validity of the credential by comparing it to the hash value, and then using that to verify the data exists on the blockchain. In the analogue world, the user cannot pick and choose what they want to show to another entity, however, KILT gives users the power to share what they wish and what they wish only (data sovereignty).
TL;DR — KILT aims to make verifying identities easier, more secure, and more private. This is achieved through the use of a blockchain which ‘hashes’ credentials, stores the key and gives users full custody over their data (similar to a paper passport), but with more control over their data (users can share specific attributes anonymously to build trust whilst remaining secure).