Incorporated in July 2018, Bit of trust is a company founded at the initiative of internationally recognised experts in the field of recognition, development and valorisation of talents, in particular Open Badges.The mission of Bit of trust is to design, develop and support the implementation of technologies and services contributing to the construction of a Web of Trust at the service of an open society. Its main areas of intervention are education, employment, human resources, territorial development and social integration.
In 2019, to respond to the influx of demands from a range of stakeholders regarding the implementation of Open Badges and Open Recognition ecosystems, in partnership with Reconnaître-Open Recognition Alliance, Bit of Trust has set-up a consultancy and training body: Reconnaître & Développer les Talents.
Bit of trust is also one of the founding member of Reconnaître – Open Recognition Alliance a not-for-profit association which is leading the Open Recognition movement in France and the organiser of ePIC, an international conference dedicated to Open Badges, trust, identity and building open recognition ecosystems.
A large part of the initial activity of Bit of Trust was dedicated to the definition of the technical components of a Web of Trust based on BitofTrusts. This was initiated with the publication of a Green Paper:
“Why don’t we have a widespread Web of Trust yet? Is it a problem with the technologies at our disposal or the categories used to design it? Is it a problem with the blueprint or the material used to execute it? This paper suggests that the main reason for not having a widespread Web of Trust, comes from a faulty blueprint based on categories that have little to do with trust, in particular privacy and self-sovereign identities: how can we build a Web of Trust if the categories used to design it are related to dis-trust? Privacy is about protecting oneself from dis-trusted entities, not about building trust relationships. Late avatar of “privacy-thinking,” self-sovereign identities can’t be of any help for the very same reason.
As a solution to creating the conditions for building a Web of Trust, this paper proposes to start from constructs that are consistent with the meaning and structure of trust:
- Intimacy as a more potent and relevant concept than privacy;
- Trust relationships as more relevant persistent identifiers than personal identifiers;
- Local consensus as a means to co-construct a global Web of Trust.
The paper defines bitofrusts as the elementary constructs of a Web of Trust and Gitoftrust, the technology for localised trust consensus building. The paper explores the benefits of a Web of Trust based on bitoftrusts (BWoT) over one based on Self-Sovereign Identities (SWoT). While both being about trust, our claim is that there is as much connection between a BWoT and a SWoT as there is between a barnacle goose and a goose barnacle.”
The ideas underpinning Bit of Trust have been explored, and are explored, through the development of a series of tools aiming at testing and refining the concepts and potential practices in relation to trust building :
- bSkilled (2018): a proof of concept exploring the value of letting individuals taking the initiative for their own recognition, under their own terms. This was a response to one of the key weaknesses of current Open Badges, the asymmetry between individuals and organisations/institutions. It was part of the summer of code organised by Open Knowledge Belgium. This is an initiative supported by Open Knowledge Belgium and led by Bert Jehoul.
- Hack you Future (2019): a proof of concept exploring the value of building socially constructed CVs, i.e. where the content is brought by others (peers, clients, etc.) in order to establish a web of professional trust around individuals. The developers were migrants and refugees. This is an initiative supported by Open Knowledge Belgium and led by Bert Jehoul.
- Open Recognition Week (2018-2019): a proof of concept was developed for the first International Open Recognition Week. Although it did not come to fruition, it helped to refine the conceptual model, in particular, the idea of a git-like application to establish local consensus. This is an effort self-supported by Bit of Trust and led by Bert Jehoul and Serge Ravet.
- BadgeBot (2018-2019): a proof of concept to use Twitter as a means to create Open Badges (and therefore BitofTrusts. This is an effort self-supported by Bit of Trust and led by Kerri Lemoie.
Bit of Trust associates have been involve in the submission of a number of projects in particular one aiming at exploring the value of Solid, the project led by Tim Berners Lee at the MIT, to support.