How Holonym works

Actors and actions in Holonym

At a high level, the Holonym system can be understood in terms of the following actors and actions.


  • User. Someone who receives credentials and prove facts about themselves, often for the purpose of fulfilling requirements set by an organization.

  • Issuer. A party that issues credentials to users. In the process of issuing credentials, an issuer may use 3rd party identity providers to verify users' identities.

  • Organization. A party that modifies its users' access or actions based on the facts its users have proven about themselves using Holonym. For example, an organization may require its users to reside in a certain country in order to vote on certain proposals.


  1. Issuer issues a credential to a user. In the user flow, this step is called "issuance".

  2. User proves facts about themselves using their credentials. In the user flow, this step is called "proving".

  3. Organization allows a user to access something or to perform an action, depending on what the user has proven.

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