A VON Overview

The Verifiable Organizations Network (VON) is a series of ecosystems, each operated by a jurisdiction and each consisting of an instance of OrgBook and a set of VON issuer/verifier agents. A VON ecosystem is kind of like a neighbourhood of collaborating services consisting of an OrgBook (a credential repository about organizations) in the middle, and around it, a number of services that access the OrgBook to get verified claims (information) about organizations, and that subsequently issue verifiable credentials (VCs) (permits, registrations, licences, etc.) about organizations back to the OrgBook instance.

A Single VON Ecosystem

Further, since each ecosystem is based on the same standards and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), services in one ecosystem can access OrgBooks in other ecosystems to receive verified claims about organizations in other jurisdictions. That’s the full VON, allowing, for example, a service in Ontario to verify (and trust) the claims of a business in British Columbia.

Verifiable Organizations Network - multiple VON Ecosystems

As more jurisdictions join VON, each local ecosystem enables further global business participation.

Orgbook

An OrgBook is most obviously a website that allows users to lookup and display information and credentials about entities registered in the ecosystem. Typically (although there can be many variations), an OrgBook instance contains public VCs about registered organizations (businesses, coops, partnerships, etc.) operating publicly within the jurisdiction. It’s kind of like a Yellow Pages site of organizations that shows the permits, registrations and licences they normally hang on their wall.

As well as being a website, OrgBook provides an API that allows services to operate a VON issuer/verifier agent to search for organizations, find their VCs, and get proofs of the claims issued to OrgBook about the organizations.

You can learn more about the capabilities and structure of OrgBook on the OrgBook page of this site.

VON Issuer/Verifier Agents

VON issuer/verifier agents are operated by services that issue authoritative credentials (permits/licences/registrations) about the organizations in OrgBook. In making decisions about whether or not to issue a credential to an organization, they access OrgBook to get verified claims about the organization, such as:

  • Are they a registered organization in the jurisdiction?
  • Do they have a tax id?
  • Do they have insurance?

By getting that data in the form of verifiable claims from OrgBook, the service typically has less effort to confirm the data than if the organization had just submitted the information.

If the service decides that the organization can be given the requested authorization, they inform the organization (perhaps giving it a paper document or PDF) and issue a VC about the organization to OrgBook. That VC can then be used by other services to verify claims about the organization issued by this service.

For more details about VON issuer/verifier agents, go to the VON issuer/verifier agents page of this site.

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