Rebooting the Web of Trust 12 - 2023 - Cologne

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Rebooting the Web of Trust 12 - 2023 - Cologne

This collaborative writing workshop on decentralized identity is the 12th Rebooting the Web of Trust (#RWOT)

By Rebooting the Web of Trust, Inc.

When and where

Date and time

September 18 · 7pm - September 22 · 10pm CEST


Blockchain Reallabor An der Hasenkaule 10 50354 Hürth Germany

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.



7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Topic Paper Night

We kick off the event with a sharing of advanced reading papers in a collegial poster session open to the public. This is a chance to learn about each other's interests and begin developing ideas for...

About this event

  • 4 days 3 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

Our twelfth Rebooting the Web of Trust (#RWOT) design workshop on decentralized identity technologies will be held in the Cologne, Germany, Monday September 18 through Friday September 22, 2022.

This event starts Monday evening on September 18th with presentations and a poster session for the top advanced reading papers. It will END Friday evening, September 22nd with a group dinner. Plan your travel accordingly.

  • Topic Paper Night is on Monday evening, September 18th. This will be open to the public and is an integral part of the workshop process. Here, we will begin the process of sharing ideas and forming teams.
  • Group Dinner is on Friday September 22nd. We have something special planned for all registered attendees.

NOTE: To qualify for an advance reading discount, you must first submit a 1-2 page advanced reading paper as a Pull Request to our Github Repo adding your paper to the advance readings directory. Then, request the appropriate promo code (either Corporate or Independent) from We'll send you a promo code to unlock the discounted tickets here at Eventbrite. More details at

Our History

Over the last seven years, Rebooting the Web of Trust has published over sixty-five (65) collaborative white papers, technical specs, and code repositories. The focus of all of our events is on decentralized identity, including technical models, reputation systems, smart contracts and more. We've had high-level users tell us about practical use cases and applications, and we've had engineers create technical specifications and code.

Some members of our community have leveraged this work and turned it into projects that have received VC funding, while others have brought in SBIR grants and other contracts from the US Government. Technology specifications incubated at our events are also moving toward acceptance in W3C and IETF as international standards. Still others have integrated RWOT work into proprietary identity platforms.

The terminology of “Self-Sovereign Identity” created at our design workshops is now being used broadly as the future of identity by many identity organizations worldwide. The W3C recommendation for Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) in the W3C Decentralized Identifier Working Group drew heavily on the work at our workshops (as well as at IIW and the W3C CCG).

“At the moment during the Covid-19 crisis much of our public life is forced to become digital. This requires the right value based technological discussions to be held. Even more than before this crisis.”—Wouter Welling, Netherlands Policy Officer, Digital Government
"Digital human rights are a recent topic and they still need to be developed to a great extent. SSI is an essential part of that. More security, more privacy; these are very important parts of digital human rights..."—Rhodia Maas, General director of the National Office for Identity Data, the Netherlands
"Human dignity demands that individuals be treated with respect no matter which system they interact with, whether face-to-face or digitally online. Without that, we become nothing but data in the machine — entries in a ledger to be managed, problems to be solved, digital serfs. We are not."—Christopher Allen, Co-Founder & Chairman Rebooting Web of Trust


This English-language, four-and-a-quarter day facilitated event will use the same basic format as the previous successful Rebooting the Web of Trust design workshops in San Francisco, New York, Paris, Boston, Santa Barbara, Toronto, Barcelona, Prague, and The Hague. We work together to produce white papers, specifications, and code to influence the future of decentralized identity by establishing and promoting new identity technologies. Full documentation of the prior events is available in the Web-of-Trust GitHub repositories—including photos, drafts, graphic output, and previous White Papers.

The design workshop is intended for developers, cryptographers, researchers, user-experience designers, and policy experts who are actively involved in building a next-generation web of trust. We also welcome participants with demonstrable needs for decentralized technologies, to ensure the diversity of the event.

"I was really thrilled with this design workshop. The participants I met there are brilliant, I got a good long peek into the future, and this collection of thought leaders is definitely designing the next big thing at warp speed. Also, the event provided an ideal sounding board for my ideas, allowing our team to refine them substantially. This is the place to be, if you seek to become a thought leader in this next quantum leap toward the decentralized digital future."—Moses Ma, FutureLab


The goals of Rebooting the Web of Trust are:

  • Create at least five collaborative work products—white papers, software implementations, or specifications—on topics that will have the greatest impact on the future.
  • Explore use cases and requirements for decentralized identity.
  • Explore tools that could be useful to developers, researchers, and funders.
  • Discuss and suggest approaches to the adoption of these technologies.


A substantial discount is offered to participants who write an advance reading paper to share with other participants. Alumni may qualify for this discount by updating a previously submitted advance reading paper. These one-or-two-page papers might explore:

  • A specific problem related to identity or trust.
  • A discussion of why current solutions such as PGP or CA-based PKI cannot address the problem.
  • A specific solution using decentralized identity
  • Specific questions not addressed by current solutions.

Examples of advance readings from previous workshops are available in our Github repos. ALL Advance reading papers are due by August 19th to allow other participants to read them before the event (for Early Bird pricing, the deadline is July 7th).  You may upload your papers directly to the RWOT12 Advanced Reading directory via pull request. For more details, please read the Advance Reading Primer.

You may also benefit from reading the RWOT Primer, which is packed with details about the entire process, from preparing advance readings and collaborating on-site and after the event, through publishing fully edited professional quality papers.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at


During and between events we use @RWOTEvents at Twitter to stay in touch and improve our collaboration. Follow if you'd like to be a part of the conversation.

We also use a separate channel for real-time messaging during the event to help people coordinate local logistics, from confirming dinner details to finding fellow attendees for an ad-hoc connection at a coffee shop. Participants will receive details about how to join that channel a few days before the event.


The term "Web of Trust" dates back thirty years to PGP, where the "Web" referred to a distributed network of systems and the "Trust" was limited to the validation of keys. It revealed the need for decentralization and recognition on the internet.

Today, those needs remain, but the Web of Trust has grown larger, encompassing the creation, authentication, and verification of self-sovereign identities as well as privacy protection, reputation assessment, smart contracting, and more. The blockchain has come to be one of the most interesting and new tools for these tasks.

"The web-of-trust that began in Pretty Good Privacy was more than 'pretty good' in 1991 and even in 2001. However, as we approach the 25th anniversary of PGP, it is time to take the lessons we've learned and the new cryptographic technologies we've created to take a fresh look at the problem. I'm looking forward to collaborating to create a new foundation for next 25 years of the web-of-trust." — Jon Callas, Director of Technology Project at EFF, former CTO of PGP

Rebooting the Web of Trust is a global collaboration influencing the future of these technologies.


All prices in €EUR. Eventbrite will handle currency conversion.

Early Bird

Purchased by July 14 (sales end at 8AM GMT-3 2022-07-15)

€1,998 Corporate participant

€1,498 Independent/Startup participant*

€1,488 Corporate participant with paper submission (DEADLINE for papers: July 7)

€988 Independent/Startup participants with paper submission (DEADLINE for papers: July 7)

€288 Academic (or recent academic) with paper submission and proof of enrollment or graduation (DEADLINE for papers: July 7)

Regular Purchase

Purchased by August 18 (sales end at 8AM GMT-3 2020-08-19)

€2,288 Corporate participant

€1,788 Independent/Startup participant*

€1,788 Corporate participant with paper submission

€1,288 Independent/Startup participant* with paper submission (DEADLINE for papers: August 19)

€388 Academic (or recent academic) with paper submission and proof of enrollment or graduation (DEADLINE for papers: August 11)


Purchased after August 18

€2,588 Corporate participant

€2,088 Independent/Startup participant*

We do not offer advanced reading discounts for on-site purchases as participants will not have an opportunity to read late submissions.

CONTACT US ( if you would prefer to buy a ticket in bitcoin.


To facilitate collaboration and person-to-person connections, we take a half-day break during the week with optional coordinated extracurricular activities. It's a great chance to get to know each other outside the focused flow of the workshop.

Family and travel companions are welcome to join these activities.

All attendees will be sent an email with an opportunity to purchase these activities in advance.


We offer travel stipends and ticket scholarships for select attendees bringing diverse perspectives to the event. To apply for either, you must submit an advance reading paper by July 7th so we can make our selections before the July 14th Early Bird Deadline. 

All papers are due no later than August 11th and MUST be submitted to the Github repo prior to receiving a discount code. If special circumstances delay your submission, contact us. We are flexible; however, getting your papers in early is a kindness that your fellow attendees will appreciate.

NOTE: Early Bird Papers MUST be submitted by July 7th for consideration for the Early Bird purchase deadline. Advanced Purchasers seeking an advance reading paper discount MUST submit their paper by August 11th.

Interested students should submit a paper and provide proof of enrollment or recent graduation when contacting us for a discount code.

* Startup pricing is for small firms just getting started, generally less than $2 million in annual revenue. Contact us if you have any questions.

Every workshop we consider a limited number of sponsors interested in supporting the work. Contact us for more information.

Health Protocols

As a live, in-person event, we will be observing protocols designed to minimize the risk of spreading or catching COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. These protocols will be based on our best judgment for providing a safe and healthy environment for everyone: all participants should be prepared for masking, vaccination, and testing requirements.

We anticipate modeling our policy on that used for the 2023 W3C TPAC gathering which will take place the week before RWOT12. Many in our community will be attending TPAC and the W3C has a good track record of navigating the tradeoffs related to public health.

There may be additional requirements based on protocols established by local governments, including both Cologne and Germany.

Final details will be confirmed as we get closer to the actual event.

All participants should be prepared for masking, vaccination, and testing requirements.


Rebooting the Web of Trust is proud to enjoy the support of the following sponsors, without whom we could not run this event.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact our treasurer, Joe Andrieu, for more information.

Gold Sponsors

Digital Contract Design

Contributing Sponsors

Vinay Vasanji

Collaborating Sponsors

Blockchain Commons

Legendary Requirements

About the organizer

A 501(c)4 social benefit organization in the United States, Rebooting the Web of Trust gathers passionate professionals to define, explore, and advocate for decentralized identity. We hold workshops and salons where we discuss, collaboratively write, and ultimately publish ground-breaking papers and software to help shape the future of identity.

Decentralized identity allows individuals to directly manage how others recognize, remember, and respond to us. Instead of dependence on state- or corporate-issued IDs--acting as both root identifiers and reliable credentials--decentralized identity gives individuals a way to create and manage identitifiers that can be used to construct reliable identity on demand. Individuals use these identifiers to create and selectively disclose both self-asserted claims and credentials from trustworthy authorities, with any receiving party--without the unnecessary privacy risks found in legacy identity architectures. The goal is to define a privacy-centric and censorship-resistant identity architecture where no single entity can deny its use and well-known authorities like local governments and sovereign states can provide reliable attestations without revealing to those authorities when and where such attestations are used. Our goal is ubiquitous individual-controlled identity without ubiquitous surveillance.

This is a work in progress.

We are a volunteer-driven membership organization. We depend on the passion of professionals and the support of sponsors to realize our goals.  If you'd like to be a part of building a better identity architecture for a better world, please join us.