Privacy-Respecting Identity for Artists and Musicians

I’m new to Resonate, and hugely impressed by the platform and the potential to do something really special for musicians, curators and listeners. As an ethical music-streaming co-operative, we distance ourselves from the large-scale algorithmic data exploitation seen in the other commercial industry platforms and treat our members with respect for their data, in line with GDPR.

But we could do more. There’s a thing called ‘Self Sovereign Identity’ that could give our members better, decentralised control over their own identity data. There are now many emerging suppliers, and a global standard. But it’s all quite new, and unproven at scale.

A trial use for us could start with something simple, like issuing membership credentials / ‘certificates’, allowing members to log in without passwords. It might perhaps enable members to authenticate peer-to-peer with an app, using a trusted credential that we issue, to prove attendance at a gig, or to ‘sign’ tracks of their own or have co-created with others.

That’s a bit nerdy, perhaps, but maybe it gives a flavour of what could be possible? We might be able to get some funding from the EU’s projects in this area and address this as part of our plans. It’s a hot topic right now (among identity nerds at least). Anyway here’s a draft funding application, which has more about what we might do, if we think it’s right for us.

Comments/suggestions very welcome !


A really interesting idea!
Is there any other platforms/sites that currently have a similar approach?
GDPR in Europe has had a huge impact in the work i do so i feel it’s just a matter of time until these discussions are had outside of the ‘enterprise’ environments.

Hi Andrew! Yes there are many initiatives, mainly among startups, and government has taken an interest in sponsoring innovation in this area. We’re not alone and are reaching out to other organisations with similar cultural values and an aversion to following the centralised identity ‘herd’.
Organisations of all sizes are worried about the risk of stockpiling identity attributes for no good reason. A lot of them are ‘outsourcing’ the problem to cloud identity providers, or encouraging log in with Facebook, Google or whatever, actually increasing the risk, and allowing correlation and ‘back-door’ sharing of identity data. The Distributed Governance Network - DGOV foundation is an example of a group that share our thinking on this. I have reached out to them to see if they would like to work together. The Open Music Initiative is another really exciting opportunity where decentralised identity could help artists take greater control of their work and relationships, without dependence on centralised and dominant intermediaries. If you or anyone on here has contacts there, let us know - it would be good to start a discussion with them. But we’ll take things steadily, step by step, as we need to finish important work on our existing tools and processes first!

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Here is an update on our progress towards the EU LEDGER application … It is nearly complete! The deadline is at the end of January - 2 weeks away - and it needs review. As a reminder, here is the website… successful bidders get up to €200k!

It’s a very ‘human’ funding programme (Out of the EU’s Horizon 2020 Next Generation Internet research funding), aligned with our values (look at some of the videos). As a platform coop with global reach, based in the EU, we are well placed to benefit. We might do well if we put some effort into a project that fits and gives Resonate the infrastructure it needs to grow again.

We need some volunteers to help with this as we approach the deadline:

  1. read the material and maybe just stand by as a potential advocate
  2. critically look through the draft bid docs and comment
  3. be prepared to be a named team member in the bid, with a link to a CV and a role (this does NOT mean that you actually have to commit to the role - if we win the bid, we’d reassess the whole team again!)
  4. be prepared to come to a team call on this and perhaps appear in one of the short video clips to promote our project and our team
  5. If we get to the final 32, to help prepare a video pitch for a submission to the final Jury (16 winners)

Please respond to this post, whatever the level of interest or commitment you have … it would be great if we could demonstrate some love and support for this project and funding to regrow Resonate!

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Hi Nick, let me know how i can help.

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Thanks Andrew! May I use your name as a team member in our bid? As above - no commitment - but I will need a public biography / CV link (e.g. LinkedIn?) to include for you. The team roles they mention are:
Researcher, Software Developer, Business Developer, Designer, Marketing Expert, and ‘Others’…
…so pick one of those that fits best. I used ‘others’ for artist / curator / listener representation, for example.

Ask me further questions about this on the community call later today

Nick, i’ve sent you a Message on here :slight_smile:

Cool Resource

Does anyone have any experience with Scuttlebut? Looks like a mesh-ID messaging implementation.

Bad news guys: we did not get through to the jury stage of the EU ledger grant.

Nice feedback on our proposal (slide deck and video) from the expert evaluators but curiously they seemed to fail us on “marginal market opportunity, due to the ubiquity of corporate platforms such as Spotify”

I guess our evaluators do not share our faith in new listener support and motivation.

Otherwise it seems I was over-conservative on staff costs, making us look expensive …and maybe I should have worked harder on the team composition. We could have had another couple of points there. :frowning:

I may write back to the evaluators and ask for them to amplify their endorsement of the proposals other than those reservations. We might then copy that in to big artists and potential backers who have more faith in the market potential of the platform, but who perhaps doubted our technical potential and capability… other than our very limited resources?

Is that worth a try? Can you think of any mystery backers who might want to ‘prove the experts wrong’ and take a punt on Resonate at this time of crisis and social change?

Feel free to share… nothing to lose. Here is what the evaluators said:

First things first, we all hope you are doing well, and that the current global health emergency is not affecting you and your loved ones too much.

Secondly, we regret to inform you that, after going through phase 1 (pre-scoring) and 2 (external evaluation) of the evaluation process described in the Guide for Applicants (section 4), your proposal has not been selected among the best proposals that will compete during the Jury Day.
Your proposal has been evaluated by 2 recognized experts, who assessed both the technical and business potential of your proposals.

Please, find below the final score and comments provided by the evaluators, as feedback to improve your project proposition for the future:

The final score of Identity for Resonate.IS - artists and listeners: 10.5 out of 15 points.

**Criteria **

Evaluators Comments
**(Automatically collected from the evaluation system) **


Comment 1: Resonate works with a very interesting and relevant idea of revolutinizing the music streaming industry. The idea of creating a MS music cooperative is an important not just to create a community but distribute profits more equitably. The project’s research component is strong. It will be interesting to see how the platform cooperative will integrate with other platform and open cooperatives in the space. The loss of a point is due to the unusually high costs for staff.

Comment 2: I do like the idea of an open, non corporate platform for artists to share music. This allows for greater control of the dialogue between artists and music listeners. I see shortcomings related to the user experience, and what the final product will be composed of.


Comment 1: The market opputunity, scalability and strategy are sound and already somewhat tested. The interface looks charming and easy to understand and read. Indeed as acknowledged in the proposal, the listener base will be needed to expand drastically. The contribution to every SDG is a bit of an overshoot and should be streamlined or reconsidered.

Comment 2: While there is marginal market opportunity, due to the ubiquity of corporate platforms such as Spotify, I fail to see how this will attract users to participate and listen to music and content shared by individual artists, in a commercially scalable way.


Comment 1: The team is completely capable of carrying out the project.The diversity and experience of the team match their ambition.

Comment 2: Good gender balance, but team composition is not full clear, as several roles were classified as unidentified. There need to be more clarity added to the team structure.

In any case, we want to thank you for your participation in the LEDGER’s 2nd Open Call and we sincerely wish you future success for your business. We still invite you to join the LEDGER’s community for the latest news.

Stay safe and take care!

Kind regards,
The LEDGER team

Overall, I guess this was always a bit of a long shot… there were about 1000 applications started, 350 submitted and then about 130 went forward to the expert evaluation. We did not make it through to the final 32 to be selected for the jury stage. However, that does not make this any less disappointing.

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Thanks for the update, Nick.

I’m sure i speak on behalf of all of us in saying thanks for your time and energy surrounding this project…

The comment "“marginal market opportunity, due to the ubiquity of corporate platforms such as Spotify” sounds something straight out of a hedge fund, which is curious to say the least! Regardless, i think going back to the source for further feedback would be useful.

On the ‘backers’ note, i’ve always thought Resonate would do well (in the short term) in the Higher-Ed (e.g University) space, as some institutions are now positioning themselves as tech incubators

There is some fantastic content in that presentation that i feel would be an injustice to not utilize elsewhere.

Is there any of similar ventures the team is looking at?
Would of course be interested to help in some capacity…


On topic:

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And here is another (slightly less technical) article about the benefits of SSI:

By the way, I have just submitted an application to the eSSIF-Lab first round ‘business call’ for grants. It’s based on our plans for IRIS (some re-use there!) and might give us some grant funding.

It’s another long shot, because there is a lot of competition for these €100k grants, but the eSSIF-Lab call seems well thought out and structured to encourage teams to work together, which I like a lot. However, when we looked at the guidance we thought the first round might not be for us, as it asks for a ‘product’ to be developed (i.e. something that could be used by others, not just Resonate).

After a bit of head-scratching I thought the simplest thing I could come up with from IRIS that could qualify as a ‘product’ would be an SSI ‘plugin’ to Discourse - used by this community - ie something that allows us to login with a ‘credential’ in a digital wallet (call it a Res-IDENT perhaps :slight_smile: ) and to allow for ‘portability’ of other credentials to be represented as ‘badges’ …so if someone has a verifiable credential as say a paid up co-op member or music-maker, or a tour bus driver, a safeguarding certificate or a music teaching certificate they could simply represent them as badges in the forum, if they wanted to. It would be a bit like brownie troops and badges I guess :slight_smile: )

Once in Discourse there are cool things you can do with the badges - combining them with the clever community trust system, creating new badges which could then be exported to the wallet as externally verifiable credentials, signed by Resonate, and perhaps ‘accepted’ by other co-operative communities that trust us, and vice-versa. There could be a big saving in member KYC (know your ‘customer’ check) costs if we could do that as part of a co-operative membership ‘web of trust’ infrastructure.

Oli Sylvester Bradley from OPEN.COOP seemed pretty interested in the idea of portability of membership credentials across co-ops when we spoke recently. We’re planning a follow-up chat on that specifically. Meanwhile, if you want to know more, take a look at our eSSIF-Lab bid intro presentation

Comments / suggestions welcome… they extended the deadline for a few more days, so perhaps there is time to do a simple demo / mock-up?

Also, any devs on here who have experience of working with Discourse plugins and/or OIDC for Discourse who could guide / help would be VERY much appreciated!

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Hello Everyone,

I am pleased to announce that we have WON a place on this business call!!

One of only 21 companies to get through to the first stage of the eSSIF-Lab one (ESSIF = European Self-Sovereign Identity Framework)

…well a small start at least… €15k to start with. About €100k if we get all the way through to the end.

The programme is divided in 3 competitive stages (i.e. only best in each stage will go on for the next one):

• Stage 1. Hackathon + Proof of Concept (1 month, funding up to €15K): 21 companies will be invited to an intensive Hackathon Event which will end with a matching of the team with a technical mentor and a business mentor. As result, a Proof of Concept and Business Roadmap will be defined, as well as an Individual Mentoring Plan.
• Stage 2 - Full functionality (5 months, funding up to €50K). 15 best companies of the ones in the previous stage will focus on developing a mock-up and a Prototype.
• Stage 3 – Customer / Use-case integration (2 months, funding up to €41K). Only the 5 best-in-class teams will reach this stage and focus on testing the MVPs with first early adopters and defining Business models and Exploitation Plan.

This is good potential press for us. Even if we don’t get to the end of this process, this award amounts to a public, government-grade endorsement of our vision, integrity, goals and of course our team.


Here are the generally nice things the judges said about us and our proposal. We scored 13 out of 19.5. The qualifying threshold was 10:

Your proposal has been evaluated by 3 recognized experts and you can find below the final score and comments provided by those evaluators, as feedback.

Final Score of your proposal : 13,0 out of 19,5 points.


Comment 1: The idea about the SIOP OIDC login is interesting. Also, the badges concepts add some advantages against specified competition. Still, I have some concerns concerning why the solution concept is not more generally directed and is so tightly associated with the Discourse forum. The idea is at a good starting point where it can be further extended to be more general usable in terms of SIO OIDC login (SIOP OIDC+badges = general framework = general component = wide range of applicability)

Comment 2: Good vision and sound approach, innovative idea solving a problem that not many have identified yet but which is existing and will be expanding in the current ecosystem reality. Making use of Existing SSI infra is good, not adding yet another ID scheme to the existing ones, supporting interoperability and reuse.

Not sure if I understood your IRIS other project well enough, are you creating another identity scheme? Doubt if the user base is growing large enough to get income. Great honest vision

Comment 3: The benefits for the RESONATE community are well explained and elaborated. However, this proposal seems more suitable for the vertical Business Call #2 than this generic one. A Discourse SIOP OIDC plugin seems interesting, but does not seem very ambitious.


Comment 1: If, in the previous case, too tight association to Discourse forum was a significant disadvantage of the proposed solution, at this point, this association can help the solution (Resonate uses the Discourse) to validate the solution and to reach the market faster than the competition. But on the long-range, this can also be a significant limitation for future scale. Some concerns are also related to the business model - the described solution does not have an “independent” business model.

Comment 2: Not convinced this will have a sound financial base but the nonfinancial benefits for users are clear.

Comment 3: The Discourse plugin is interesting for the communities built on top of the tool, but it is difficult to see a major market potential, and in particular how to keep differentiation with competition. However, as said before, it may be interesting for community building.


Comment 1: The team has enough resources (skills, knowledge, experience, involvement in the SSI field, etc.) to deliver and (potentially) extend/improve the proposed solution.

Comment 2: I am convinced that your team is able to deliver

Comment 3: The team seems perfectly capable of driving the proposal forward. However, with the caveats mentioned in the previous points.|


Here’s some draft text as a’bulletin/briefing’ to explain the above in a few words:

Resonate, the Play Fair music streaming co-op, has been busy with proposals for a co-operative community identity system that brings some ‘portability’ of credentials across the ‘islands’ of co-op identity.

Co-ops that trust each others’ membership processes might be able to accept each others’ credentials, without the sharing of membership databases or use of ‘sign in with Facebook’ and their like: Resonate believes that identity should be privacy-preserving, without the necessity of a third party identity provider. It’s like reclaiming the idea of a good old wallet or purse, containing our ID stuff under our own control and not having it all in some corporate cloud behind a weak password.

We put our proposals together and submitted them to the European Self-Sovereign Identity Framework project, eSSIF-Lab and, after expert evaluation, we have just been invited to participate. We are hoping to benefit from funding, expert advice and coaching.

We use open source Discourse as our community forum. It’s a good platform for civilised discussion, with lots of great features, including ‘badges’ for different types of member (artist, listener, staff and so on). We thought it would be nice to be able to pop a badge in a digital wallet and share and show them ‘verifiably’ to anyone who wanted to see them. Like a membership card or ticket, but without a need for surveillance checks by the issuer.

We don’t yet know how we might best use ‘badges’ in our music making, streaming and listening community, but that’s part of what we are going to explore, along with anyone else who is interested in a common, open and privacy-respecting identity. Join us!

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@Nick_M - This is quite an interesting proposal. I’m actually working on Single Sign On for a few non-profits in the states at the moment; specifically around credibility of volunteers and the skills and expertise they bring to the table.

The goal was for it to be a bit more general purpose; I.e. a federated identity provider that can be leveraged through the broader web ecosystem; such as mastodon, discourse, matrix; and to build upon the representative h-card open format and WebID.

Anyway, I’ll noodle a bit more on this.


Interesting new survey of a variety of current decentralized ID architectures / experiments: [Who Watches the Watchmen?
A Review of Subjective Approaches for Sybil-resistance in Proof of
Personhood Protocols] (

Intuitively, I think I’m attracted to BrightID’s community participation model.

Personally I have a desire for multiple pseudonyms with varying degrees of identifiability depending on virtual location (community) and function. (Multiple votes would be inappropriate in many governance applications, for example… Although perhaps with fractionalization of a vote across pseudonyms…?)

Anyway, seemed like a tasty survey of current work. Well cited.

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Some nice correspondence there with what we are proposing and pitching right now as one of our use cases - a ‘Know Your Co-Operator’ ritual to issue a verifiable credential… the metaphor being a ‘badge’ which you hold safely in your own digital pocket, or choose to wear proudly on your shirt when you wander from community to community. If someone says ‘prove it’ you always can, selectively and securely disclosing only what you need to. You can use a device with biometrics (that NEVER leave the device) to do the strong, passwordless authentication say for your unique voting role or persona.

Here’s the 500 word pitch:

Company Presentation

Resonate - - is an ethical music streaming co-operative. Open source and fair-trade, it’s a place where artists, active listeners, curators, and developers govern the community as voting members. Membership is free and non-exclusive for artists and labels that share tracks. 2000 artists and 13000 member/listeners who want to Play Fair.

Problem – use case scenario

Online community is the biggest digital global use case and responds to fundamental human needs. Most use is centralised, some is decentralised, organised in peer-to-peer ‘circles’. Post-covid-19 there has been a surge in online ‘community’ values and greater visibility of cooperatives as a business model (1.2Bn members of co-ops globally). However, platforms for community solutions are fragmented and not inter-operable. Simple, privacy-respecting protocols for trusted transactions between the islands of community identity have taken a back seat. It’s even harder to know who to trust or how to transact…. without going back to ‘the government’ …or the big players… as an overall root of trust.

Solution and Value Proposition

Open Source Community Credentials provide a community-friendly transparent recognition, award and governance of verifiable credentials as simple 'badges. We will provide the platform for the ‘Know Your Co-Operator’ equivalent of KYC for co-op social trust without reliance on centralised providers. Co-operators will exercise pragmatic, easily understandable control over presentation of their identity attributes. We’ll use the idea of the ‘wallet’ (kept in your pocket) and the ‘badge’ (worn on your shirt) as simple metaphors.

Targeted market segments / Targeted customers / Positioning in the value chain

  1. The music streaming co-operative ecosystem for Resonate, where membership, music purchase, music copyrighting and gig ticketing scenarios demand better authentication and digital proof of credentials.
  2. Co-operative network values support the sharing of cost and risk for KYCO. This is in contrast with the competitive nature of the financial services marketplace, where competing SSI KYC solutions struggle to monetise and grow to scale, despite the obvious benefit of collective action to combat ID fraud.
  3. We’re providing a ‘plugin’ solution product, initially for Discourse, the biggest of the community software platforms (over 343m page views/month), reaching out to its active developer community and beyond that to other open source forum software.

UVP compared to competition

Simplicity of the badge/wallet metaphor and on making the solution more ‘human understandable’ and usable than more technical wallet processes. As easy to create, display and issue ‘badges’ representing VC’s as it is to move them from the wallet in your pocket to your shirt and vice versa. Use them in simple, human-centric business processes configured in the forum software / workflows or manual processes. KYCO, is a unique proposition in the co-operative community.

Business Model

Resonate member growth and revenue attracted by a privacy-respecting, anti-surveillance capitalism identity model, plus further indirect revenue from:

  1. Consultancy revenues for Resonate and its partners in deploying the plugin
  2. Creation of a monetised Know Your Co-Operator (KYCO) credential issue and verification service. An alternative to financial services KYC, which emphasises credit history rather than co-operative contribution.
  3. Reduction of identity risk associated with artist payment claims, confidential reporting / GDPR, co-operative voting, event ticketing (and possible service fees for ticketing etc)
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