Post-doctoral Researcher

Decentralized Digital Identity platform and use cases

Ref. 2021_051

IBM has a long history in the area of identity managementbeingas a corerequirement of any trusted business relationship. Actorsin any business relationshipshould be well identified and their messages to other parties authenticated.

The protection of authenticated messages can be accomplishedby digital signatures, where the party (identity) sending the messageis in possession of a digital key-pairthatconstitutes the authentication credentials for that identity. The public key is used by a verifying party to ensure that the message was indeed signed by the originating party.

The more challenging part is tosecurelymap the authentication credentials tothe actual user identities. Enterprises normally rely on trusted parties called Certificate Authorities to ensurethe mapping between public keys and identities. Extending this functionality to cross-enterprise communication scenarios, or to scenarios that involve end-users/consumers, is not trivial.

Self sovereign identity (SSI) solutions are a relatively new approach to addressthis challenge.At the heart of any SSI system is a consortium thatmaintains a "Verifiable Data Registry"(typically a blockchain).An issuer's public key is written to a Decentralized Identity (DID)document intothis registry.Verifierscan choose to trust theDID documents inthe registry, which means they are trusting the registries governance backed by the consortium.

We are working towards a decentralized digital identity systemthat manages diverse digital identities, with focus on addressing important use cases from the public sector, the financial industry, and other relevant industries.

The scope of our research includes but is not restricted to:

  • Analysis of the requirements related to decentralized identity for the relevant use cases.
  • Design/extensionof decentralized identity solutions forthe relevant use cases.
  • Implementation of the designed solutions.
  • Ensure interoperability with other identity systems and drive open-source contributions.

As an intern, you will investigate identity solutions for client use cases and have first-hand experience of building identity solutionsfor real-world systems.


  • Familiarity with identity solutions, SSI, blockchain concepts
  • Programming skills in Java, Golang, or similar
  • Experience with DevOps and standard coding practices



IBM is committed to diversity at the workplace. With us you will find an open, multicultural environment. Excellent flexible working arrangements enable all genders to strike the desired balance between their professional development and their personal lives.


How to apply

If you are interested in this exciting position, please submit your application below.